The Most Important Word for Resolving Conflict


One of the most powerful words when dealing with people is this tiny two-letter word “WE.” It is probably the most under-used word when negotiating, dealing with employees, or talking with that ever-so-tough person in customer service.

Early in my career, I worked as a Sales Manager for a very large corporation. At the ripe old age of 25, I was trying to solve an issue with one of our major vendors. I was getting nowhere.

My General Manager asked how the issue was going and what I was doing to resolve it. I explained what was going on and laid out the whole-time line, and even reiterating all the threats I threw at them.

He picked up the phone and called the customer service department from the vendor I was working with. While speaking with them, I will never forget the one phrase he used: “how are WE going to work together to get this resolved?”

BAM! It was like a hit to the forehead with a 2 x 4! We resolved the issue and moved on.

It was a lesson that I will never forget. I have continued to use this tiny but powerful word ever since.

Why? Because the word “WE” is inclusive, it instantly develops a partnership and a bond with the person you’re speaking with. Deep down, people want to be part of the ‘team’ that solves issues and develops solutions.

Next time you have a conflict with a co-worker, a customer service representative, or an incorrect billing issue, try using “WE.” I guarantee this will be more successful than demanding, yelling, or pounding your fist on the counter and stomping your feet.

Simply ask, how are “WE” going to work together to solve this issue. You will be surprised at the outcome.

We partner with clients to solve recruiting issues

In today’s candidate-driven market, you need somebody working WITH you to find outstanding employees. At Johnson Search Group, our primary goal is simple – match our fantastic candidates with qualified, outstanding clients. These people are ready to become your employees – today. They’re sold on money, availability, and location and we’ve pre-screened them to ensure they’ll be a great fit, culturally and skills-wise.

At JSG, WE work together with our candidates to solve your recruiting problems and find you the best possible clients on the market.