What you do BEFORE you talk with someone about a difficult issue will largely determine what happens DURING the conversation. How you think about the person, prior to talking with them, has a titanic impact on how the conversation begins.
The way you begin a difficult discussion has a huge influence on whether the conversation goes well. To get the opening right requires intentionally getting into a productive emotional state. Clarity of mind and a thoughtful purpose are critical to preparation.
Here are a few tips to prepare for a conversation:
- Reframe – work on trying to understand the other person’s perspective. What are the circumstances they are facing and what could have influenced their actions or statements?
- Cool Down – reduce the emotional charge by “discharging” with someone else. Vent to someone you trust and work through the emotions of the situation.
- Results and Relationship – focus on the outcome that you want to achieve. Does it matter who is right or can you put that aside and reach a mutually beneficial outcome? Work on getting a positive result and maintaining the relationship.
By preparing for a conversation, you exponentially increase the probability of a successful outcome.