How to tackle a difficult conversation | Your Relationship Specialist

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How to tackle a difficult conversation

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 20.38.36What do you do if you are facing that tricky conversation with someone? I often hear people saying they couldn’t possibly approach someone about something they feel uncomfortable about. They would much rather swerve on it, duck the issue, ignore it hoping it will go away.
But the problem is that the issue is still festering away. The elephant in the room. Or at other times, it may be brought up in anger, and the end result of that is that both parties feel upset, and the issue doesn’t get resolved. This could be in a work situation or in your personal life, with a  partner, friend or family member.

  1. What do you want to achieve? There is little point of going into the conversation unless you know what you want from it. Otherwise both sides will be confused
  2.  Choose your time to have the conversation. Don’t tackle your boss when he has a deadline to meet. Make an appointment when you can both sit down and give the matter some time. Certainly don’t try and talk to your partner when they are watching football or their favourite ‘soap’. They wont hear you, and it will probably end up with an argument.
  3. Write down all the points you want to make.

The Conversation

  • Put away your ‘pointy finger’. By that I mean don’t make accusatory comments, talking the conversation with ‘YOU…………’. Own your thoughts and feelings.
  • Use the phrases – ‘ I think ‘ ‘ I feel’  ‘I am uncomfortable ………..’ ‘ I am unhappy………..’. That was you are less likely to put the other person on the defensive.
  • Be prepared to listen, and be curious and interested. By doing that you opening up the opportunity of the other person listening to you.
  • Be aware of your triggers – those things that push your buttons. When that happens take a deep breath – and don’t react.
  • If you are met with accusations, try to listen to their side and then put forward your side. Be prepared to negotiate.
  • And Finally, PRACTISE, PRACTISE, PRACTISE, visualising at positive outcome. You will be amazed what a difference that will make to your mindset …………….and probably the result.
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