Having Uncomfortable Conversations

One of the things that most of us will end up having to do from time to time, whether it’s in our everyday lives or even when it’s at business, is to have a difficult conversation.

Perhaps you don’t agree with something somebody says.   Maybe you’ve been harbouring some kind of quiet resentment about somebody you don’t like.  

Perhaps somebody has upset you, said or done something that makes you cross. You might not like to have a confrontation and you certainly don’t want an argument plus you absolutely would not want to fight!

So how do you deal with it?  Because if you don’t deal with it the feelings inside will just go ‘rotten’ and that can lead to mental health issues, addictions and more.

It’s important that we learn to have difficult conversations.

I was talking to a very good friend of mine about this not so long ago.  He described to me something that he uses in his life and business which is something that he’s called the Fierce Conversation’.

I asked him if I could teach other people about this and he’s given his permission for me to do so.

The fierce conversation is when you’ve got to have those difficult words, and you don’t know how.  The knee-jerk reaction for some people is to avoid it like the plague!

But It’s really important that you take the time to.  Be brave. Be kind.

  1. First, take some time to meditate think about the problem, and try not to let emotion cloud this process.  Don’t get bogged down with exactly what the person said or did that upset you.  Why were you offended?  What would you like them to do in the future?  What was your part to play in this (if any), plan to apologise for your part in it.
  2. Write this down on a piece of paper and read it back over to yourself again.  Imagine somebody was saying it to you, how would you expect to react to being told you’d hurt somebody’s feelings?  Perhaps this person was unaware?  Perhaps it was on purpose? It doesn’t matter.   What matters is transferring the negative energy of it away from you. You are going to give them the opportunity to respond
  3. Make an appointment to see the person.  It’s really a good idea to do this somewhere neutral, somewhere quiet, somewhere where you can talk freely.
  4. Say to them when they arrive that you have a difficult conversation you want to have with them and that you’re going to refer to notes that you have made so that you can be clear and fair.  Tell them that you would like them to please sit silently and not to respond until you’re finished.   Let them know that when you’ve finished they will have any time they need to respond and that you will sit quietly and listen to all they have to say.  It’s really important that you give this person the opportunity to speak.  Speak calmly and with care.  Do not speak with anger or in a raised voice.
  5. Listen to their side of the conversation.  Don’t argue or get riled.  Look for an agreement or, If you must simply agree to disagree.

This can require a leap of faith.  You will need to get over any fear that you may have of hearing something you don’t want to hear!

Often when I avoid having a difficult conversation I worry that I might get angry and have an argument.  Or worse still, that the person will say something back that I don’t want to hear. Perhaps they will tell me something that I have done or said to them that’s hurt them and I worry about hearing potentially those words.

But it’s important to hear these things and be able to utilise them.  If you don’t know you have said or done something wrong, and they don’t tell you, how can you ever have an opportunity to grow as a person?


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    • You may get exactly what you need just from that one session. If so, fab!

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