Navigating Tough Conversations
Have you ever had a tough conversation coming up and spent the few days before it fretting and trying to figure out how to have this difficult conversation?
Us too! Tough conversations are all around us, whether it’s at home, at work or with friends. Many of us find ourselves trying to figure out how to navigate tough conversations. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help your next tough conversation.
- Be present and actively listen:
Often times when we are having a difficult conversation its because we have something difficult to say or communicate. The best thing you can do is to be present, not thinking about the next thing you will say, but actively listen to the person your speaking with. Their thoughts, feelings, ideas and emotions.
- Have Empathy:
Whatever you are communicating in this conversation, it most likely won’t be easy for either party, so slow down and take the time to think about what it must be like to be the listener and to hear what you are sharing. Put yourself in their shoes and try to empathize with all the emotions and thoughts they have.
- Listen more:
There is a difference between hearing the words someone says and listening to what they have to say. Slow down, resist the urge to talk and just listen to them. Try to reflect back what you think you heard. But just remember to WAIT- which stands for “Why Am I Talking?”
- Remember that they are the captain of their own ship:
As much as you want to help, guide or assist-you cannot control or make decisions for other people. Recognizing and letting go of the fact that you cannot control them or the outcome is key to navigating a tough conversation.
Next time you have a tough conversation coming up, remember these 4 tips as you go into the conversation. Good luck and remember, you want to help them, so the more you can listen, have empathy and let go of the outcome the more you will help them and yourself in the process.
Make sure to check out our membership or one of our online classes! Introduction to Motivational Interviewing is a great place to start by learning the basics!