One way I make a living is by coaching CEOs. Recently I was speaking with one of my clients, the CEO of a startup with 60-plus employees.

The CEO told me how they and one of their executives had been disagreeing about something. My client’s initial instinct was to assert their authority, close the issue, and move on. Rather than doing that, however, the CEO decided to open a document instead.

In that document the CEO first wrote down their opinion on the situation and why. Next they wrote down what the other person thought and why. When the CEO looked at the two opinions…