Your palms get sweaty, you feel that lump in your throat, you know you need to say something, but it just never feels like the right time. You don’t know where to start, but you know if you could just get that first word out it would all be better, but you just can’t. So, you hold it in, and you hold it in and then you hold it in a little bit more, until you can’t. And then you lose your shit and explode like no other. Maybe at that individual, or at someone totally uninvolved like the lady at Kroger who isn’t scanning your groceries fast enough.
We’ve all been there, and it sucks. I want to take some time and share some steps you can take to better prepare for these difficult conversations (so you don’t explode on innocent bystanders). Now, this doesn’t mean that life will now be a breeze, and you’ll have a PHD in difficult conversations. I mean I don’t think you’ll be knocking on your neighbor’s door asking, “do you have anything really hard and worrisome to say to your boss or your partner today? If so, I’ll do it for you! I thoroughly enjoy having difficult conversations!” But I do think you will be able to prepare and approach these conversations from a different angle and in the end receive better results.
Before the conversation:
- DEFINE YOUR NEEDS (BE DIRECT AND SPECIFIC)