We’ve all faced a difficult conversation that we know we need to have, the one that’s set our insides churning for days or maybe even longer.

We can even feel the cost in our mind and body. Along with churning inside, maybe our thoughts are hijacked and we find our mind drifting to the problem and the tangle of words we want to say, but are too scared. Our sense of aliveness is diminished.

Difficult Conversations Webinar Oct. 22 at 5 p.m. PT Free! 

A difficult conversation is anything we don’t want to talk about. And while it may feel painful, most things can be resolved with a Sweaty 10-Minute Talk. A willingness to feel discomfort and get better at the conversations is a critical leadership skill.

Practice this Essential Leadership Skill with People You Trust 

Learning to have difficult conversations is an essential leadership skill, and one you can use in every part of your life.  It’s a muscle of conscious leadership, and like any muscle, it needs work.  Start with small incidents and with people you trust to support your learning.

For most of us, the biggest block in conflict is wanting to be right about the problem.  Are you willing to let go of being right? Would you choose being close over being right?

How to Have a Difficult Conversation

  1. Check in with yourself and your emotions. Are you open and curious? Are you willing to give up blame and criticism? To give up being right?
  2. Ask the other person if this is a good time. If not, pick another time.
  3. Listen for understanding from all three centers of your intelligence: head, heart and gut.
  4. Set your intention to be clear and kind.  Do that by separating the facts from the story.  That means being aware that you are interpreting or making up stories about what has happened. Tell the facts and then the stories that you make up.
  5. Are you willing to take 100 percent responsibility for your part? Say how you created the disconnection.
  6. Ask for what you want, with the understanding that you may not get it.
  7. Get curious about how you might be projecting (assigning feelings that you cannot accept in yourself to another person).
  8. Thank the person for being willing to engage in the difficult conversation.

Want to learn more? Join me for a free webinar on October 22, 5 p.m. PT. Sign up here.