What everyone needs to learn about difficult conversations.

Not a day goes by that I’m not thinking about how to have better, more meaningful conversations. Whether helping a client prepare for difficult conversations, or checking my own assumptions as I converse over dinner at home, I’m always learning.

Lately, I’ve noticed many conversations are tense and argumentative. The news interviews feel more accusatory. Casual conversations amongst people in cafes even feel a bit tense. We’re jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst of every.

Is it me or are loosing control of our conversations?

Always Learning About Difficult Conversations

Today I was inspired by an amazing talk by Megan Phelps-Roper. She eloquently used a quiet presentation approach to share a powerful story. Her story is multifaceted and well worth your full attention.

As an emotionally intelligent human, I’m sure you came away from this video with many insights.

Difficult Conversations: 4 Recommendations

For now, I want to bring your focus to her 4 recommendations for approaching difficult conversations:

1. Don’t assume bad intent
2. Ask questions
3. Stay calm
4. Make the argument

Each of these elements is complex and requires self examination, skill building, and time for development. Something you can do with commitment and focus.

Yes, we humans are flawed and with those flaws come misunderstandings, assumptions, and sometimes a hurtful exchange of words.

This is a wake-up call. Are you allowing your conversation approach to sabotaging your success?

Your turn: What is one thing, one next step you are willing to take to have more meaningful conversations?