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Won’t I harm relationships if I talk about the consequences of not coming to agreement?

You should generally tread carefully when you talk about the consequences of not coming to agreement. This is because others may perceive such talk as threatening or inappropriate, which can damage relationships. If others perceive your talk of consequences as threatening or inappropriate, they may respond by choosing not to deal with you or by retaliating against you. Nonetheless, there are times and ways of talking about the consequences of not coming to agreement that are not only appropriate but potentially very effective. For example, if you are dealing with a difficult person who refuses to be collaborative or threatens you with the consequences of not coming to agreement, you may need to communicate your views about the impact on people’s needs if you do not come to agreement. Similarly, when a person you are dealing with does not seem to appreciate the consequences of not coming to agreement, it can be helpful to educate that person about those consequences. In order to avoid misunderstandings or inadvertent damage to relationships, you should remain calm, professional, and strategic when you talk about the consequences of not coming to agreement.

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