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Difficult conversations

There are many occasions where there is an urge to want have something change  and the dialogue gets mishandled. Anger management groups are full of individuals who lost it somewhere somehow and the topic got out of hand too quickly.

188 Difficult conversations






The emotional need when there is anxiety behind it to discuss something overcomes the rational side with the result that what was wanted gets lost in an argument. That need not have happened. When something is bugging us there is an automatic feeling of a threat. This may not be conscious but it is there. The conversation quickly go to “You….” Something. What this does is it automatically sets up an adversarial relationship as the word “You” has some accusing intention behind it. The other person will equally automatically pick up on the underlying accusation and will retaliate as they feel attacked.

What is ignored is the need to move the conversation from “Me” to “Us”. It’s all about relationship. “What are we going to do for our relationship, for our business” The other person doesn’t feel attacked. “When x happens this  what happens to me, and this is what happens to us. Can you help in finding a solution?” It makes the other person valuable rather than the enemy. When they feel valuable they listen. If there is no formal relationship keep the conversation in the third person “When this behavior happens…. I feel and I want  “ Their response will tell where they are coming from. If it is positive then you got what you want. If it is negative it is time to withdraw and assess your options and be smart about how to go about it.

Source: Globe and Mail


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