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3 Strategies for Mastering Your Toughest Conversations

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1 3 Strategies for Mastering Your Toughest Conversations | All of us have faced conversations that we would give anything to avoid: We especially want to avoid these types of conversations when they have been difficult for us in the past. That's because we have become "conditioned" to fear the other person's response—and its effect upon us. We find ourselves wondering if we can ignore the situation so that it will resolve itself, or we find reasons to postpone having the conversation. But in the back of our mind is a voice saying that such conversations cannot be put off or avoided because the problem/situation won't go away on its own. Avoid the Drama and Trauma Is it possible to have a tough conversation without trauma and drama? Yes, it is. We all know people who seem to be able to have these conversations successfully. The key to their success is that they follow some basic principles. And, as a bonus, sometimes doing so can actually eliminate the need to have the tough conversation. So, what do masters of these conversations do? How do they seem to come up with the right words and phrases that melt away resistance and create a willingness to engage? They do what masters of all kinds do—they prepare, they plan, and they practice specifically for each conversation. The First "P" The process starts in the preparation phase with a conversation with ourselves. A conversation with that voice in our head that, as the T-shirts say, is "resisting the urge to choke the life out of someone who deserves it!" This conversation—not the one with the other person—is the toughest one we will have. Why? Because it involves an exceedingly honest examination of the issues, our feelings, and our expectations as we identify and succinctly articulate the real issue and what we expect the outcome to be. Dealing with the lack of accountability on the part of a coworker, friend, or offspring Telling your boss that his or her "brilliant" idea has flaws in it Disagreeing with a colleague's strong point of view by Alan Fine | InsideOut Development Founder and President CONVERSATIONS STRATEGIES FOR Mastering Your Toughest

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