Successfully start difficult conversations – 1

We all occasionally need to have difficult conversations, be they at work or at home, and as we know or fear that they will be ‘difficult’ we tend to brace and tense ourselves up against the anticipated backdraft.  This is always a bad way to begin, so this is the first in a small series of  of hints and tips on how to do this more successfully.

The chances are that the person you are dealing with knows you, but they are not a mind reader, so don’t expect them to know what you are thinking or feeling.  So start off with owning your own feelings, and tell them honestly how you feel.  Bear in mind that you own and are responsible for your feelings.  No one can “make” you feel anything. 

Also bear in mind that not everything you think should be spoken.  Where do you want this to end up?  How do you want to feel?  What do you want them to do as a result of this conversation?  If some of your thoughts are going to make this harder, then, without being dishonest,  don’t feel obliged to splurge all over them!  Once you get things moving forward, you can review if you still feel these things need to be shared.  However, having moved things forward, they may be irrelevant now, or easier to deal with. 

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