Tough conversations are…well…tough. But we make them harder by tensing up and predicting how tough they will be. We make them harder when we don’t consider all of the ways our solution will affect people. And mostly, we make them harder when we aren’t leaving space for them to not be hard.
Why is that important for business?
Usually there are a number of ways to accomplish a task, but often we focus so much on what we feel we “should” do that we lose focus on the goal. And as much as we might not be able to control or influence the way someone else sees something – a perspective that is rooted in experience and beliefs that are individual to each person – we can come to a hard conversation with openness, empathy and curiosity.
Instead of presenting our solution, looking at the ramifications of what this solution means to the person or people it affects can help us craft a strategy that isn’t so much about the “can’t”.
Things often go awry because we are bracing for a tough conversation, and not leaving any space for it to possibly go well. It works much better when we approach it with empathy and curiosity and leave space for a solution.
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