We all have them and, at times, avoid them - Difficult Conversations. They don't surround our lives and definitely shouldn't. Besides the bright side of life, we come across differences with our significant other, co-workers, managers, children, siblings; you name it.
There are moments we can't get around them, because they will eat us from the inside out. Our thoughts begin to create stories that don't reflect reality and take a life of its own. Sometimes we see them as minimal issues, so why even bother talking about them.
I've been a master in talking and discussing things people could care less about or don't feel like spending time deliberating as the subjects seem irrelevant. I noticed that it wasn't only to ruminate on or fight about something but to find ways to communicate and understand where someone is coming from. Also, to make it a common approach to talk about anything.
In the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to hold conversations about topics that were weighing on my heart. I thought about the critical aspects of the exchange. Here is my process:
1 Connect with my underlying story
What was I trying to convey deep down? Acknowledgment? Belonging? Being heard and understood? Or just sharing my experience? Or all of the above?
When I decided what my underlying story was and the purpose of this dialogue, I began to think about the words. How and what am I going to say. To help me with that, I had to comprehend the person I am talking to.
2 Viewing the perspective of others
How could I talk to someone that might not be interested in what I am going to say? How can I make this conversation inviting? What have been past tendencies in this relationship that made discussion of this nature not work out or difficult?
Once, I figured out I had to decide on time and location when and how to talk about all that.
3 Time and place
When? What's the best timing? Well, there is never a perfect timing, but there are ways to determine when. Get to know the other person, what are their schedules? When are they in a good mood? How do they communicate? Is there a moment or activity we connect well?
This might seem a lot of work for a difficult conversation. What I came to consider is that if we would go through a fraction of this input for regular discussions. It would go much easier for us to hold difficult conversations as they are just another exchange of thoughts brought to awareness.
We also learn to let go of thoughts that won't serve us, connect, and learn how to pursue discussions when it matters with this particular person in the future. I also discovered that in this way, we will lead with an open heart and mind to create more understanding and lessen misunderstandings.
Two vital approaches for any conversations to go a long way is by listening and asking questions.
Suppose you are interested in participating in a challenge. I have recorded two videos to help you tackle difficult conversations on Facebook.