(Influential Leadership) Reality Bridging

It’s not unusual in the workplace to have upsets in relationships.  As an influential leader, you must be equipped to navigate these upsets.  Read this week’s tip for a phenomenal tool that will help you masterfully do this.


The Reality Bridging Technique

Man Sitting On Bridge
Photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash

How do you handle relational upsets in the workplace?


Most of us aren’t equipped to masterfully deal with these situations. It’s common to resort to avoidance behaviors or just sublimating emotions like anger, which usually makes things worse. Alternatively, some may attack or become defensive, which can further damage the relationship.


Here’s a great tool I stumbled onto from motivational speaker Tony Robbins called “Reality Bridging”. This technique consists of series of reflective questions to help clarify how navigate the relationship (i.e., change your perception or procedures).


The Reality Checklist


Reflect on the following questions whenever you have an “upset” in any relationship:

  1. Am I willing to learn something from this to make it valuable? Am I learning to do something to make this better?
  2. Will making this person wrong make things better or make me a better person?
  3. What is it that is really upsetting me? What specific meaning am I linking to this? Come up with a list of meanings.
  4. Could this be a misperception on my part? Do I have all the information possible to know exactly, absolutely what this means?
  5. What else could this mean? Come up with a list of alternative meanings – one more item than the list in question #3.
  6. What do I need to do in order to feel good now?
  7. Do I need to change my perception about this?
  8. Do I need to find out more information?
  9. Do I need to understand this person’s viewpoint (why they did this)?
  10. Do I need to know this person cares for me or just remember that they do?
  11. Do I need to get a commitment from this person?
  12. Do I need to change the way we are doing something?
  13. Do I need to apologize to this person?
  14. Do I need to just remember who this person really is, what an incredible relationship we have, and how much I really love or respect them?
  15. How can I communicate my needs in a way that truly empowers my relationship with this person? (e.g., “I need your help…” )
  16. What’s really great about this (or what could be really great about this)?


Just by going through this checklist, you will be in much more resourceful place to deal with the relationship.


I will cover the anatomy of the conversation referred to in #7 above next time.


Contributed by David C Miller, Author of The Influential Actuary

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