Tackling Difficult Conversations


Do you avoid having difficult conversations? When you have the conversation, does it come out wrong?

This week I had to face a service provider, who is also a friend, to let them know about a disappointment I experienced at their business.  I did not want to have the conversation, because of our friendship but I knew as a business owner myself, that I had to speak up otherwise, I would not be able to hire them again and that's not a solution, that is avoiding.

Have you ever been in a situation where you just don't want to have a hard conversation?

Do you avoid or delay having difficult conversations?

Do you keep quiet because you don't want to hurt someone's feelings or want to avoid conflict?

It is time for you to stop avoiding conflict and deal with it with finesse and come out shining.  It really is easy to have hard conversations, and I want to show you how.

Here is my 3 Step Formula for Having a Difficult Conversation:   

1)  Be calm, centered and supportive

  •         It is critical that you are calm and centered before you have the conversation.  If you are charged, irritated, frustrated or angry, then the other person is just going to mirror you by having the same energy or they will be defensive.
  •         If you are calm, centered, and supportive then you will have more success in being able to listen carefully without judgment, share openly and collaboratively, and experience success in finding a solution together that works for both of you.

2)  Be clear about what you need

  •         If you are unclear about what you need or want then you are unable to clearly articulate why you are upset and what to do about it much less ask someone else for help in meeting your need or want.
  •         Part of being clear about what you need is also being clear about what you are willing to give in order to co-create a mutually acceptable solution.
  •         Be reasonable and follow your heart while balancing with your logical  mind as you define what you need to ask for and what you are willing to give in order to resolve the issue.
  •         Difficult conversations are usually one-sided - which is why they get blow up, turn into conflict, and don't end positively.  You have to be willing to give and receive.  Do not expect to ask for what you need from another person without being willing to ask them what they need.
  •         Follow through with each other by agreeing to contribute to fulfilling each other's needs.  Honor your integrity, your word, and follow through.

3)  Schedule no more than 30 minutes to have the conversation

  •         You should ask for time to discuss something that has been on your mind.  Most people just dive into a difficult conversation which creates conflict.  If you let someone know that you need 30 minutes of their time to help you resolve an issue you are dealing with, then that sets the stage for the conversation up front.
  •         Communication involves responsibility, clarity, listening, preparation, followed by speaking.  Take the time to express your thoughts on paper first, plan your conversation, don't make the other person wrong by using you did X language, and be genuine and compassionate.
  •         Schedule the time with them and use this formula for having the conversation:   "When you do X, I feel Y, and I would love your help by doing Z"  Watch the video for an example live of how to do this!

Want to learn more about communicating effectively?  I invite you to get this ebook :-)

Let me know how this works for you!  I'd love to hear from you...click here to contact me.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.