We’ve all had tough conversations at some point in our lives. It could be with a friend, family member, or even a coworker—you’ve probably been on both sides of this equation. The good news is that these conversations are important and can help us grow as people; however, they can also be difficult to manage if we don’t have the right mindset going into them. Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up six principles for having hard talks that will make your next one much easier (and more likely to succeed).
To prepare for a difficult conversation, take a few minutes to think about the other person’s perspective. Remember that you’re not responsible for making them feel uncomfortable or guilty. Your goal is simply to share your perspective with compassion and respect.
As you enter into the conversation, it’s important to keep in mind that this person is not your enemy—they’re simply someone who has an opposing point of view on an issue that matters deeply (even if it doesn’t seem like it does). Take a deep breath and be mindful of how you’re approaching the situation from an emotional place rather than from an analytical one.
Don’t let this person throw off your balance by getting frustrated or angry; instead, use deep breathing techniques as needed. It may also help if you can find humor in some parts of the conversation (especially if they’re funny), which can help lighten things up while still keeping things serious enough so that everyone understands where both parties stand on certain issues.
So, what’s the takeaway here? It’s simple: you can have difficult conversations. You can win them. And when you do, it will make you feel good about yourself and your relationships with others.