Handle difficult conversations successfully with these 10 dos and don’ts …
Like any difficult conversation, there are skills to handling it well, however when you are in the heat of the moment or feeling that you are being verbally attacked it is very hard to maintain the level of focus required to manage those skills.
Therefore, you will need to prepare for this conversation by setting out with a clear purpose in mind.
Make notes for the conversation, write tips for yourself to ensure that you keep on track.
Ensure that you have the three truths at the heart of what you are wanting to say and achieve, here are a few handy hints.
- Do not start the conversation with your view of things, instead start by asking the other persons point of view.
- Really listen to what the other person is saying, be curious, interested, even make notes if needed.
- Don’t interrupt to express an opinion or disagree, in fact don’t interrupt, let the person fully finish what they are saying.
- Avoid the blame game – like you’d avoid throwing petrol on a barbeque.
- Acknowledge the emotional energy and feelings but try to direct them towards a useful purpose.
- Don’t take what they say personally – at the end of this you want a resolution.
- Don’t assume they will agree with you, remember your differences have brought about the conversation.
- Demonstrate that you understand what they are saying and appreciate their honesty.
- Share your point of view, including how are you feeling.
- Ensure that the conversation ends positively – the key is to work towards a mutual understanding not a mutual agreement.