How to Conduct Hard Conversations?
Great uncertainty can lead to great rewards…
It’s a given that if you are aiming for something big, or just purely navigating the day to day stuff, conflict is going to be part of it.
You will notice that the harmony or the plans that you envision will be prevented or challenged by a situation or person in your life.
Someone that may hold some sort of “gatekeeping” power or position that it’s required to achieve what you are looking for.
If that’s the situation and you don’t find an indirect way to overcome this challenge, there is only one way to solve this: by attacking it head-on.
When I use the word “attacking”, I don’t mean literally “attacking” (I know you know but is kind of funny to make it explicit). I mean to go to that person and attempt to make the person see the situation from your point of view.
Many times we only propose our point of view with the hopes that they discover that we are 100% correct and that they completely agree with us. The reality is that is more likely for the person to maintain their position and double down.
It’s for that reason that we need to identify the main reasons why we need to convince/influence before having the conversation:
Not our way or the highway…
We need to understand what is making this person stay on a different posture. Dig a little into their emotions and identify what is making them insecure or feeling like that.
Once we know what/why the person is feeling that way, we need to approach this person from their frame of thought, not ours.
They already have their mind “set”, unless new evidence is presented similar to the way that they formed their point of view.
Brainstorming on what and why this person has these convictions so different than ours
Identifying why this person feels this way should be the first thing that we need to ponder. Maybe there is something obvious that can provide us a window on why they think like this and how to get to that during the conversation.
Develop a plan on how your message will be more effective for a particular person. Identifying the possible pitfalls and triggers that might complicate the conversation even more.
Always expose your point of view. Worst comes to worst, it’s your plan that you are pursuing and trying to resolve. Anything that you do to get you closer to where you want to be, even if it’s not successful, at least you are trying to move forward.
During the conversation, it’s important to stay as present as we can be
Yes, it’s though. Trying to have a hard conversation and been calm doesn’t add up well. But in essence, when we get as comfortable as possible is when we can tune in with the other person.
Been able to listen not only to their words, but also their body language and the way they choose to agree or refute your arguments. By looking to use the same analogies, same examples, and the same expressions, the other person unconsciously begin to sense that you are speaking the same language, and common ground can be reached easier.
Nobody should stay between you and what you want. That’s why if you have tried indirect ways to get to the person and express what’s going on, it is time to have a thoughtful conversation.
You are brave, you can demand to this world what you want… maybe you will get it (only if you ask).