The Goldsmith cure

Money Magazine's Eric Schurenberg sat down with executive coach Marshall Goldsmith to find out how jerky execs can mend their ways.

How to make a tough meeting a win
How to make a tough meeting a win
Marshall Goldsmith: Well, the first thing is: Shut up and listen. Don't prove the other person is wrong. If you disagree, it's OK. You just say, "You believe X, I believe Y. We disagree." Don't get angry. Don't get emotional, don't personalize the dialogue. And focus on what you can change, not what you cannot change.

Is the person your peer, your boss, whatever. If the person is your boss, just say, "Boss, you did X." The boss says, "I want you to do Y." Say, "OK, here's why I did X." You present your case, you try to sell. Your boss says, "I still want you to do Y. Let's talk about how to make Y work."

If it's your peer, then you have to figure out, well, is this the battle I want to fight with my peer? Is it important, is it meaningful or not? If it's a big deal, you know what? Then fight the battle. If it's not a big deal, take a deep breath and let it go.

Whatever happens, though, you go to that meeting...peace. And you try to walk out of that meeting just to achieve results. You don't turn the meeting into a contest about who's smarter or better than the other person.
Last updated January 24 2008: 1:37 PM ET
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.