Dr. Wendy Explains How To Handle Difficult Conversations

Difficult conversations suck.  That's why they're called difficult.

Sometimes it seems like we have all tried every single possible way of approaching someone for a difficult conversation, yet every single time it turns out horribly.

Well, there are some tips and tricks that you may not be aware of.

First, do not rush into it.  These types of conversations never go well when either party is all fired up.  Set up a time for the discussion and make sure the other party understands that you want to have an open, vulnerable talk.

Second, mind how everyone is feeling.  If someone isn't very stable, whether it is you or the other person, make sure you keep that in mind when planning the discussion, as well as during.

Third, start with a question rather than an assumption.  Don't assume you know where the other person stands.  Ask them.

Fourth, listen, listen, listen.  The other party needs to know that you want to hear what they have to say and that you care about what they are feeling and saying.  Talking and talking will help nothing.  Furthermore, don't shut down the other person's emotions.

Fifth, compliment.  Start out by giving a compliment and recognizing the other party's strengths.

Sixth, make sure the goals are clear.  Tell the other person why you want to have the conversation and what you are hoping to get out of it.

Seventh, form the conversation as a chance to grow.  Just because the conversation may be uncomfortable and down-right sucky, it can still be a chance for the two of you to grow in your relationship.

Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal

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