The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting place.
– Dorothy Nevill
When was the last time you were in a meeting or a hallway conversation where you were 1) caught you off guard 2) talking about something that really matters, and 3) you were emotionally stirred up?
Okay, maybe it wasn’t at the office. Think of the story when this happened; did you lean into it, emotionally engaged but not thinking clearly? Or did you back away, let it go, but left it unresolved?
Here’s a video where I provide four steps on how to re-visit the conversation; return to have a “hard chat”. I hope you’ll take a moment to watch it…
Four steps to an effective hard chat:
- Headline: what do you want to talk with them about?
- State the Facts: what happened? Not what you thought about it, your opinion on the meeting…just the facts: what happened?
- Ask the Question: ask an open-ended question (cannot be answered yes or no) that engages the other person in dialogue
- Silence. Wait for their response; repeat the question if necessary, but wait for their answer.
This is not hard to do, it’s just not easy. Rehearsing is important, especially when the emotions want to take charge. You may find it helpful to write your thoughts out. Edit. Listen for and eliminate judgmental words or opinions … factually speaking, what happened?
What do you think; please comment below.
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