Have you ever had an issue or concern regarding a certain person or situation? Giving your feedback and voicing your opinion can seem tough. However, having these difficult or crucial conversations could avoid negative consequences to arise.

Need a few tips on how you can speak up? Here are some suggestions:

First step is to analyze: Think about the conversations you’ve had regarding the person or situation you are focusing on. Write them down and ask yourself: “What did I do that worked? Did I do anything that didn’t worked? What were my intentions or motives in the moment things went wrong?” This type of reflection will lead to the next step.

Prepare yourself: Ask yourself, “How can I make things better, what can I do differently next time? Is there a better way to start the conversation? How can I make the other person feel safe? How can I deal with the thoughts or emotions that won’t be helpful?”  Once you have the answers, practice the conversation. Think about the conversation that needs to happen now. If you’ve tried to have this conversation before, this time around it should be different.

To ensure you get your desire response, plan your conversation. How will you invite the person to engage in dialogue with you? Plan what you’ll say and how you’ll say it. Plan an apology – if things didn’t go well previously, state what your intentions are and how you will like to move forward.

Practice, Practice, Practice: We don’t often practice some of the important conversations in our life, but we should. Once you have analyzed what you’ve done previously and what you plan to improve on in the future, and after you’re set on a plan to accomplish your goals, find someone not connected to the situation. This person will be your practice “coach.”  Explain the situation and ask them to go through different scenarios of the conversation with you. Think about all the ways the conversation could go and prepare for each.

Lastly, consider the possibility that the conversation doesn’t go the way you planned. What will you do? Anticipate and plan other options so you can make good choices when you’re in the heat of a tough conversation. With practice, these quick tips could get started on your journey of having your crucial conversation.

Check out our Communication and Impact  page to learn more about how you and your team can have Crucial Conversations.

 

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