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7 Tips To Help You Through Crucial Conversations.

It’s that time of year again.

Families will gather around the table; conversations often get heated. It is true, that the conversations that are most important to us, are the ones that we aren’t are best at. Learning the art of how to have difficult conversations not only serves us well in our personal relationships but in the workplace also. What is a crucial conversation? A crucial conversation is one where opinions vary, stakes are high, and parties involved have strong emotions. Crucial Conversations is not about being confrontational, avoiding conflict, or getting your way. It’s about how to help yourself and others stay in dialogue so you can get the results you want. When confronted with a difficult conversation we have three choices: Avoid the conversation and suffer the consequences; handle the conversation badly and suffer the consequences or read ahead to master these 7 effective tips to help you navigate your next crucial conversation. In the book Crucial Conversations the authors’ layout easy to follow steps to have more effective conversations.

  1. Start with Heart
  2. Before beginning the conversation, have a goal. What is the desired result of this conversation? What exactly is at stake? Knowing what is at stake going into the conversation will help you stay true to your convictions and stay focused during the conversation.

  3. Learn to Look
  4. Be on the lookout for a lack of mutual purpose. Continuously ask yourself whether you are leading the conversation with dialogue or defensiveness. And if you or the other party strays toward the latter, protect your conversation from going downhill with an expression like “I think we’ve moved away from dialogue” or “I’m sorry. I’ve been trying to force my ideas on you.”

  5. Make it Safe
  6. When you notice that you and others have moved away from dialogue, do something to make it more comfortable. Ask a question and show interest in others’ views. Apologies, smiles, even a request for a brief “time out” can help restore safety when things get dicey.

  7. Master your Story
  8. Retrace your path to find out what facts are behind the story you’re telling. When you have the facts on your side, it’s hard to deny your argument.

  9. State your Path
  10. Share your facts and conclusions in a way that will make the other party feel safe telling their story, too.

  11. Explore Others’ Path
  12. Dialogue allows you to actively inquire about the other party’s views. Now that you both understand each other, you can emphasize which parts you agree upon and the areas in which you differ.

  13. Move to Action
  14. Come to a consensus about what will happen, document who does what by when and settle on a way to follow up.

Master these skills, and we are confident that you will have better relationships and more productive and happier workplaces. If you want to dive deeper, we can work with you to create a tailor-made program for you, your team or your entire organization.

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