Sigh. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to. Sometimes you have to talk to people and have conversations you don’t want to. There is not a problem with this at all as I was reminded at work a few weeks ago, but the handout on “Courageous Conversations” did caution me about a few things. First, you never speak in anger. It will not get the results you want. If you need to have the conversation, the handout did suggest you have it as soon as the issue arises so that it doesn’t get worse. I agree. It is best to get things out in the open.
Try to see things from the other person’s perspective. There are some people who will not see your side, no matter what you say. End of story. Do you need to have a “Courageous Conversation” with them? No. It will only lead to frustration. You might as well be talking to a brick wall as far as that person is concerned. I tried having a conversation like that two years ago, and it did not go well.
Don’t apologize for how you feel. You have a right to your feelings, but state the facts. Some people can’t leave out the emotional drama and exaggerate the facts tremendously. Usually, you can tell who these folks are. When speaking with them, it is best to remember that even though they are telling you their side, it might be embellished more than necessary.
Someone recently told me that even though they were right in the middle of a conversation, they didn’t hear what was being said. I know what it is like to be “mentally checked out”. If I think this is going to happen to me, I always say this isn’t the best time to speak to me because I have a lot on my mind right now. I want to be there for you, but can we please come back to this later? True friends or colleagues should understand.
Lastly, end on a positive. If you made a mistake or misjudged someone and the error is yours, be honest. If you failed to do what was expected, be honest.
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt