Three steps to make difficult conversations easier
Do you struggle around challenging conversations?
Do you dread confrontations with awkward work colleagues?
Do you avoid engaging in tricky dialogue with certain people?
Whether it's tackling issues in your personal or professional life you find tricky, here are my three steps to make difficult conversations easier.
1. Do not dodge the conversation you dread. You will build up resentment, anxiety, anger, hurt and fear. Although you shouldn't have a knee jerk reaction either. The way forward is to write a letter or email to them and say everything you want and don't edit it, call them every name under the sun if you want to then delete it. This takes all the emotional charge out of it. Then once ready to approach them, stick to sharing your experience and do not blame or shame the other person. This demonstrates you are owning your own experience and it will steer you away from playing the victim.
2. Be aware of the power of the spoken word 'never' and other absolutes that are ambigious and can be trigger words for others. It is crucial to monitor your words. Stick to facts and specific instances. Also label the behaviour and not the person.
3. Listen to learn and learn to listen. It's powerful to use words like 'I hear you' or' I understand you feel passionately about this' whilst someone is speaking (not over them) but when they pause, so they know you are listening and feel valued and heard. Be empathetic around their point of view, even if you don't agree. Once someone feels heard, respected and honoured, they can genuinely tell you understand their perspective they are more likely to drop any attitude or angst and the dynamics between you will change.
Make it happen. You can do it. It's your time to shine.
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