I have never in my entire adult life, been involved in more difficult conversations (both professionally and personally) than I have in the past year. I decided to put in writing some of my ideas on how to handle these conversations and still maintain a good relationship with those you are friends with, work with and even live with.
1. First, listen and don’t react
2. Try to get a better understanding of what is causing this difficult conversation
3. Remember what the word opinion means; a view, judgment, or appraisal formed in the mind about a particular matter
4. Lately it seems that no one cares about each other’s opinions - like these daily conversations regarding ‘opinions’ are causing more conflict than solutions
5. You can certainly own your perspective in a difficult conversation, but don’t forget to treat your opinion like what it is – ‘an opinion’
6. Start your conversations with ‘I’ not ‘You’
7. Always state observable thoughts and explain how ‘you feel' - not how you think everyone feels
8. Always try to watch your words as they cannot be taken back – putting those thoughts in writing is even worse!
9. Try to let the other person share their thoughts without interrupting and let them explain what is bothering them – THEN it will be your turn
10. In person, watch your facial expressions and body language – it says a lot about your authenticity and willingness to have a good conversation