I decided to talk about one of my favorite subjects again because this is what I do most with my clients. Why?
Because that is a huge struggle.
Would you believe it? I do because I see it every week.
To help you out, I’ve put together a free document structured like a course that you can download here (scroll down to the bottom of the page)…but please, read on.
Each week without exaggeration I get to help out my clients on having those difficult conversations.
I work with people in their professional lives, not in personal relationships but I believe this helps in many aspects of life. Difficult is difficult, period.
So what is it that makes us unable to communicate clearly with others at times? Most of us don’t understand why it happened but it happened.
So let’s look at what can be done about it. Oh and this is not a panacea, it’s not the ONLY way to go about it. I’m totally aware and at peace with that. This is a simple approach. I like simple things because I suffered a lot from complicated situations in my corporate career….I should do my next post on Complex vs Complicated.
Let’s imagine that we are at the moment AFTER the communication issue has happened. You’re in that confused moment asking yourself Why the communication was so hazardous. Why it went hay wire.
Well, here’s an option on how to fix it. Once you are able to fix one conversation, you will start using the approach before difficulties arise.
- Stop and think of your intention. Yes intention. It was good right? Most people will tell me “but I had good intentions”. I totally believe you. Perhaps you lost control of your emotions, perhaps you lashed out. Or perhaps you did your dang best and it just did not workout.
Go back to your intention. Did you consciously set intentions and did you voice them? Most of the time we don’t.
- Set some time aside to prepare for the conversation. Preparing with another person is powerful because you will hear yourself and correct your words instantly (this will align you with your intention). Preparing in your head will feel ok but it’s not as powerful.
- Ask the person you want to have a difficult conversation with for some time to discuss. This is called knocking (like knocking on the door before entering). It’s a gentle non-aggressive and mature way to invite the other person to the conversation. Plan a duration of minimum 30 minutes and no more than 45 minutes.
- Open the conversation by stating your intention and asking the person for their intention or objective. Part of your intention should be to
- Start with what you both have in common (what you agree on, what went well).
- During the conversation, don’t try to be right, just plan to listen and then speak your point. This is probably the most important phrase of this article.
- Listen some more. Take in what the other person is saying and try to make sense of it.
- Close the conversation gracefully by asking if there is anything else the person wants to ad or agree on next steps.
I think that the important impact of this approach is that it’s simple, natural, it sets boundaries and it is gentle.
We are not often gentle in our business dealings. Listening is an important and rare skill. Practice it and feel the peace that it brings.
- Listen to nature.
- Listen to your inner voice.
- Listen to others having a conversation during a meal.
- Listen when it is difficult to listen.
Do you see the progression here?
Let me know below if you’re a natural listener or a born speaker….
Download my free document on Having a Difficult conversation (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
Please share if this is useful or of it strikes a cord.
I could go on and on about this subject….Let me know if you have specifics you’d like me to address.