Rejected Plans The following dialogue occurred between two employees in a large firm. The conversation illustrates several characteristics of supportive communication.
SUSETTE: How did your meeting go with Mr. Schmidt yesterday? LEONARDO: Well, uh, it went... aaah ... it was no big deal. SUSETTE: It looks as if you're pretty upset about it. LEONARDO: Yeah, I am. It was a totally frustrating experience. I, uh, well, let's just say I would like to forget the whole thing. SUSETTE: Things must not have gone as well as you had hoped they would. LEONARDO: I'll say! That guy was impossible. 1 thought the plans I submitted were very clear and well thought out. Then he rejected the entire package. SUSETTE: You mean he didn't accept any of them? LEONARDO: You got it. SUSETTE: I've seen your work before, Leonardo. You've always done a first-rate job. It's hard for me to figure out why your plans were rejected by Schmidt. What did he say about them? LEONARDO: He said they were unrealistic and too difficult to implement, and ... SUSETTE: Really? LEONARDO: Yeah, and when he said that I felt he was attacking me personally. But, on the other hand, I was also angry because I thought my plans were very good and, you know, I paid close attention to every detail in those plans. SUSETTE: I'm certain that you did. LEONARDO: It just really ticks me off. SUSETTE: I'll bet it does. I would be upset, too. LEONARDO: Schmidt has something against me. SUSETTE: After all the effort you put into those plans, you still couldn't figure out whether Schmidt was rejecting you or your plans, right?
LEONARDO: Yeah. Right. How could you tell? SUSETTE: I can really understand your confusion and uncertainty when you felt Schmidt's actions were unreasonable. LEONARDO: I just don't understand why he did what he did. SUSETTE: Sure. If he said your plans were unrealistic, what does that mean? I mean, how can you deal with a rationale like that? It's just too general—meaningless. even. Did he mention...
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