A time comes for all of us when we need to have a conversation with someone that we don’t want to have. You know, those conversations that often start with “We need to talk.” Whether it’s a conversation with your spouse, your kids, your friends or your boss, at one time or another we have to find a way to approach a difficult topic with ease and grace.
Most of the time these are conversations where keeping our composure can be tough. There are likely a lot of emotions and fear deep in the recesses of our hearts. How can we keep our emotions in check while staying faithful our intentions for this conversation while also staying true to our integrity?
It’s actually not difficult. There are a few things to keep in mind that can help you keep your cool. Usually, these conversations only go south when we let our Ego and emotions get the better of us.
Find a trick or tool to help you keep your energy focused while having your discussion.
This is probably going to sound a little silly, but it actually works. You know those little stress squeezy balls? Hold one in your hand and when you feel yourself getting upset and feel your emotions bubbling up give it a squeeze and say silently to yourself “I release this tension and focus on my intention.”
One you’re feeling calm and centered here are three keys to keeping the conversation positive and focused, even if you have to have a few conversations to get the resolution needed by all involved.
Set your intention on having a goal of helping each other.
It’s super important to come into a conversation like this with a purpose and goal, and that goal should be mutually beneficial. Don’t just focus on what you want or the point you need to get across but consider how this affects the other people involved. Do you have a genuine concern for them as well? What are they going to gain and benefit from this conversation?
The number one way to guarantee that things will go badly is to focus just on you, what you want and your point of view. It’s fine if the conversation needs to be about how someone else’s actions are negatively impacting you, but the last thing you want to do is come in pointing a finger. Make sure that before you go in you think about how what you have to say can actually benefit the other person and help them grow rather than just benefiting you by getting something off your chest.
Don’t take what is said personally.
While it might be difficult to not take what someone else may have to say to you personally, it’s important to keep a little emotional distance and detachment to what’s happening. Approaching these conversations as a way to just state what needs to be said and not a forum for a personal attack, things will go a lot easier.
Emotions will likely run high. Keep in mind that a lot of what may be said is said out of the heat of the moment and not necessarily what someone really truly feels. I know we tend to think that what we blurt out at the moment is more real and honest, but it really isn’t. Cooler heads will prevail so don’t take what’s said here to heart.
Know when to walk away.
In conversations like these, there often comes a point where you hit a rough patch where words start to get jumbled, and things get a little confused. You’ll start to talk in circles, or one of you seems to just stop listening to the other. Time and space can make all the difference because once things start to get confusing and emotional, you’re not going to get anywhere.
It may take more than one sit down together to get the answers and solution the situation needs and that means walking away when things get too hot and heated. It’s better to leave and come back when you’re feeling clearer and ready to approach the next phase of the situation.
Learning how to cultivate a calm mind and keep your thoughts in a place of clarity during these kinds of discussions will help you get more accomplished faster and with more ease. It takes time to create that, but it’s something worth working on.