Suppose an employee comes to you to discuss being troubled by something said by a coworker who is also under your supervision. Here’s the scenario: The employee, Elaine, reports that a colleague said, “Maybe you should retake the training.”

Start where Elaine interpreted what was said to mean that she was not doing a good job. In this case, the point of departure that led to the uncomfortable situation occurred when she interpreted a colleague’s statement to mean something more and different than was intended.