Time and again we are going to be faced with moments of hard conversation. A hard conversation involves a division of thoughts and perceptions about “something that happened” and feelings are running strong! It is the conversation that is difficult because we fear hurt feelings and/or further division. Although we might be tempted to ignore or avoid the conversation altogether, that is most often not likely going to bring about anything positive!
How is it that we can move forward to make those moments a little softer and more successful?
First we need to accept that we are a part of an energy system and we affect each other. Just our presence alone has an effect on others. Next, we must be willing to take responsibility for our words and actions and keep them as honest and kind as possible. Deciding to carefully consider the thoughts we want to share and to be willing to outline those thoughts in advance is the only sane choice. When prepared, the conversation will flow as it needs to flow.
Then we need to set a conscious intention to create a private atmosphere that allows for a positive experience.
Recently I was faced with the opportunity to clarify my position regarding my core values. I had refused to participate in an already heated political conversation. Unfortunately, someone I thought was in agreement with me, clearly was not, and I was being criticized. All the while I felt very mis-understood. That was my opportunity to prepare myself for a hard and necessary conversation!
I offer you the steps that I followed. Thinking before speaking led to a successful conclusion for both of us!
I did the following:
Set an intention for the highest and best for my friend and me.
Set-up a safe, pleasant and private place and come calmly with an open heart.
Use my notes in order to be brief and to stay focused on what is most important.
Share an explanation of my perspective.
Listen to my friend’s feelings intently and not be thinking of my responses.
Open to having my perspective challenged and to understand.
Ask questions that would clarify what I was hearing.
My experience showed me that sometimes we can just agree to disagree. Sometimes the misunderstanding is the way we each define words. When we define words differently it is almost impossible to agree on a conclusion. Sometimes relationships are healed and sometimes they are not. Not all relationships are meant to remain. Healing happens in ways we may not understand. Being prepared, however, clearly sets a positive intention and invites the possibility of success! Zig Ziglar, one of the world's most popular motivational speakers, says, “Success occurs where opportunity meets preparation.”
Sometime no conversation is the best discernment. However, I invite you to be prepared for any hard conversation that you may need to have.
Editor, Karen Diehl