Everyone struggles with difficult conversations.
Are emotionally charged
Can lead to conflict
Require preparation and emotional regulation
Difficult conversations require work.
Think about the number of times you mapped out in your head what you would say when preparing to have a difficult conversation with your boss, peer, or a loved one. You thought about every detail, plotting out when, where, and how the conversation would take place.
That can be quite taxing, both mentally and emotionally.
One thing to remember when engaging in conversations is that we, humans, are emotional beings.
When we enter a conversation, we bring our own perspectives and expectations. If those opinions and expectations are ever challenged, then we tend to take is personally. Oftentimes, resulting in emotional reactions of anger, aggression, fear, or defiance.
And as these emotions grow stronger, our ego steps in to protect us. We find ourselves saying and doing things that fall outside our norms of behavior, escalating the situation, and increasing the odds for conflict.
To minimize conflict and increase the odds of having a productive and effective outcome, I created my own personal rule for handling difficult conversations.
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