“Talking is like playing on the harp; there is as much in laying the hands on the strings to stop their vibration as in twanging them to bring out their music.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes
I was spending time with a good friend this week and they shared how much they appreciated that I was willing to have hard conversations. We live in a busy world, and sometimes we don’t have all the information, or only have one point of view. It’s easy to procrastinate about having hard conversations, but it’s an important part of life. You become successful one conversation at a time.
There is a great book called Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. In this book, the author describes how to overcome the barriers to authentic conversations. I have read this book several times and would be happy to buy a copy for anyone who is interested.
Conversations can be hard for many reasons. Here are some techniques that I use to help me through them:
- Be present, fully present in the conversation. You can’t be talking about something important and doing something else at the same time.
- Think the conversation through in your head before diving into it. I often rehearse and think through what I want to say and how I want to say it many times before the actual conversation.
- Keep your mind open to new information or points of view while you’re in the conversation. If your goal is to exchange information and deal with a tough issue, then it requires openness.
- Deal with one subject at a time. Often conversations wander and it’s easy to get distracted. Stay on point and resolve it before taking on the next issue.
- Recognize that what you say and how you say creates an emotional impact on the person you’re speaking with. Talking about tough stuff needs to be handled with care and your tone and demeanor are as important as the words you choose.
I have a lot more to share on this subject, but that will be for another Friday. No problem ever gets better by avoidance. Go out talk about the important things with someone at Tahzoo.
Let’s go be great,