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Uncomfortable conversations come in all shapes and sizes and for a variety of reasons. Getting comfortable with uncomfortable is essential for a fulfilled life. Uncomfortable conversations aren’t fun. They’re the conversation you put off until the last minute, anticipate with dread, and worry about. However, stepping into them is an essential ingredient for effective leadership and a hallmark of a successful career.
1. Listen: Give the other person the chance to explain their point of view without interruption.
2. Acknowledge: Show empathy and understanding for the other person’s feelings and experiences.
3. Ask Questions: Ask questions to gain a better understanding of the situation and the other person’s perspective.
4. Be Respectful: Avoid making assumptions or judgments and remain respectful of the other person’s opinion.
5. Take Breaks: If the conversation is becoming too intense, take a break to give both of you time to cool down and collect your thoughts.
6. Be Honest: Be honest about your feelings and opinions, but also be open to listening to the other person’s point of view.
7. Seek a Resolution: Focus on finding a resolution that works for both parties.
In conclusion, Being sensitive to other’s thoughts and feelings is a key component to successful communication and especially anticipating and preparing difficult conversations. If you can gauge the mood and set the right tone, you really are half-way there. In our experience it’s also worth remembering that the idea of difficult conversations is always worse than the reality.
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