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  • janellegsheen

Difficult Conversations: Reality Bites

Updated: Aug 3, 2019

So many of us don’t want to have difficult conversations. We do all we can to avoid them, perhaps we think there is something wrong with us when they occur, yet difficult conversations are part of life. It is important to get our minds around four key reality bites about difficult conversations. Difficult conversations will become easier once we grasp difficult conversations are natural, that we are all difficult conversationalists some times, the trick is taking ownership and responsibility for the difficult conversations we have.

The first reality bite is that ‘difficult conversations are natural’. We all have them, because despite having good conversation skills difficult conversations test those skills especially when we care about things or we don’t have the energy for the conversation. When the outcome of the conversation is important to us, combined with we not knowing how the other will respond or we aren’t confident we can manage the conversation well we will naturally have a difficult conversation.

Palm beach in midst of storm, trees blowing and waves crashing.
Difficult conversations are part of life, just as storms are.

Our desires, our values, our emotions play an important role in difficult conversations. By developing our skills in emotional intelligence we will have a stronger foundation for dealing with difficult conversations.

The second reality bite bounces off the first; ‘we are all difficult conversationalists sometimes’. We all have things that are really important to us and are driven by our emotions, so it is only natural at times our emotions will over rule our good senses. Especially if we are in need, perhaps of sleep, food, respect or a smile. Alternatively others will see us as the difficult conversationalist if they are not getting what they expect from us.

Learning to build our self-awareness, look after our self and consider others needs will go a long way to enhancing our ability to manage difficult conversations respectfully.

Man with pack back pack crossing bridge.
It is up to you which bridge to take to manage your difficult conversations

In order to develop these skills we must ‘take ownership of reality and our ability to manage difficult conversations’. This is the third reality bite. It is up to us to build our skills to reduce the level of difficulty of our conversations. Whether those skills are self-awareness, self-care, emotional intelligence, consideration of others or conversation strategies, we can only build our skills if we claim ownership of our life and skills. It is up to you and only you.

The final reality bite is the next step; ‘take responsibility for your communication and relationship reality’. Once you have claimed ownership it is essential to take action, develop your ability to respond in a way that increases your chances of experiencing the life you desire.

Three key skills for reality bite four are develop your ability to reflect, apologise and accept that you will have conversations that are difficult for you. This empowers you to claim ownership, see things more realistically and thus more effectively choice a responsible action to move towards your desire.

Difficult conversational reality bites puts you centre front in managing difficult conversations. It is important to accept our own role and responsibility when it comes to difficult conversations. Whilst remembering you cannot, absolutely cannot manage anyone else.

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