Successfully start difficult conversations – 2

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 second in this small series of  of hints and tips on how to do this more successfully.

Preparation is everything and if it is important to you that this goes well, take the time to prepare.  If you write down your thoughts it is easier to be objective about them as you have literally put these ideas outside yourself.  Ideally, do a data dump; it is a good idea to do so in bullet point form as it is easier to edit than a great long series of rambling paragraphs.  Better still, do it on a computer-type device so you can later cut and paste.  Next day, review your list.  How do you feel about it now?  Are your points clear?  Are they reasonable?

Delete the ones you no longer agree with.  Improve and clarify the others, sort them into groups of linked ideas.  Ask yourself what you are seeking to achieve and make that clear up front.  Most importantly, check they buy-in to the goal, because if they don’t agree with that it is pointless proceeding.  Avoid jargon that they don’t share.  Agree each step before proceeding to the next one.


  1. Tip 1

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