Master Difficult Conversations: Part 2
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Two weeks ago, we talked about mastering difficult conversations. To summarize, we said the ability to navigate difficult conversations starts with you. You must become aware of your reactions, be accountable for your own actions/words, and stick to your goal for the conversation. These help to ensure a favorable outcome. (If you missed it, we recommend you go back and read it before continuing).
So now that you are better prepared for the conversation, how do you handle interactions with others who aren’t? How do you have a positive outcome if the other person is reacting poorly?
It may seem impossible, but it’s not. With a little time and practice, you can build the skills to have these conversations with ease. Here are some practical steps on how to do that.
# 1 Learn to identify the tactics
In the last blog, I talked about recognizing which tactic you use in difficult conversations. Remember silence or violence? Now that you are versed in recognizing the signs, you can identify them in other people as well. This step is important because it can help you stick to your goal and recognize when safety is at risk (see #3).
# 2 Don’t get sucked into an emotional reaction
During this process, it’s important to remember what you really want. That means you must avoid the impulse to lash out in response to the tactic the other person is using. Yes, this means you must be the bigger person.