February 18, 2019

How to Have a Difficult Conversation

Is there someone who is bothering you at work or in your personal life? You know you need to talk to them but you are dreading the conversation. You keep putting it off and putting it off… And now it is blowing up into a huge issue! Well, wait no longer.

My dear friend Shannon Polly and I created a 5-step process to help you have those dreaded conversations in a productive and positive way.  Listen in to this video and if you have any questions, please comment or send me an email.

Just 5 steps to freedom baby! Let’s go!

What does snow have to do with having a difficult conversation?

You know there’s those people who bother you? You know who I’m talking about! Those people that you may work with or a neighbour or family member, who rub you the wrong way, they get in your face, or they might be passive aggressive- whatever it is, there is somebody who bothers you.

At first when it happens you don’t want to rock the boat so you don’t say anything. You don’t say anything because you don’t want to upset things, or ruin the relationship, or perhaps you’re worried about the impact of having a difficult conversation. Think about the problem as the size of a small snowball.

It happens again and it’s bothering you; it starts to grow, like a snowball rolling down a hill. It happens again and grows and grows and grows until the next thing you know, its huge boulder bounding down at you and you finally blow up!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Get rid of the “snow” before it becomes a big problem!

The beauty of having a difficult conversation early is that it doesn’t become a big problem. You really want to, or need to, have a good relationship with that person then do it earlier rather than later.

Shannon and I came up with this 5-step process we call the SOWSA method!

This is so helpful! It makes it so much easier to have a process we can follow because nobody likes having these conversations.

1.Focus on the Solution

What is the win-win here? What is the goal? Focus in on what you want to achieve in the conversation. How do you want your relationship to be at the end of this conversation?

2. Take Ownership

What is my part in how this relationship has unfolded? A lot of us are ego driven and don’t look inwards at what we have also contributed. Have you said or done things dishonouring the relationship? Be honest.

3. Walk in Their Shoes

How do you think they are feeling about this issue? Ask the person “please tell me your side of the story” have them tell it to you from their standpoint. How is your behaviour impacting them? Truly listen!

4. State Your Point Of View

Get clear- you know what you want to achieve, you have taken ownership, and have been empathetic. Now state clearly what you want to happen here. What is important to you?

5. Agree to a Plan of Action

Going forward here’s how you and I are going to do this. What’s the action plan for each of you? What’s the win-win?

Next time you have to have a difficult conversation, go for it!

 Until next time,

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