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Approach the conversation with general and open-ended questions. Let the person know you want to understand where she’s coming from.

Watch Body Language

Crossed arms and furrowed expressions can send the message that you’re feeling defensive or confrontational.

Keep It Simple

Be clear and simple. Speak directly and respectfully, and avoid interrupting.

Speak for Yourself

Don’t use “we” statements, which can make someone feel uncomfortable and ganged-up on. Stick to your own perceptions of a situation.

Lighten Up

Use some humor to lighten the moment. Injecting a little levity can help move the conversation along and open someone up.

Follow Up

Regardless of how the interaction goes, make a point to reach out a few days later and let the person know you appreciate her time and effort.

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