How to Begin a Difficult Conversation

danger thin iceYou’ve thought about what you want to say, and are clear about how to say it. But how do you begin? Try this simple but powerful question:

Is this a good time to talk?

This puts the other person on notice that something important is up for discussion. If they say it’s not a good time, please don’t push. They might be crabby, hungry, tired, or simply not in a receptive or productive frame of mind at that moment. Which means the conversation is not likely to go well anyway.

So hold your tongue, and ask them when would be a better time. If you were burning to talk right then and are worried you’ll forget what you wanted to say, jot it down and save it for later.

How to Begin a Difficult Conversation2016-11-23T09:38:47-07:00

How to Call Forth the Best in People

I have found the best way to get another to acquire a virtue is to impute it to him.” – Winston Churchillcamera lens

Another way to say that is: When you see and appreciate the best in people, and they want to live up to it.

Constructive criticism such as, “I did not appreciate the way you spoke to me in front of our friends, and I want you to be more polite in the future,” rarely leads to improvement.

Instead, try something like this: “Thanks for noticing that I was becoming embarrassed during our interaction in front of our friends. I appreciate that you went along with it when I changed the subject. Now that we are in private, is there more you want to discuss?”

How to Call Forth the Best in People2016-11-23T09:38:47-07:00