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  • Midtown Mediation

Have a tough conversation coming up? Here's what NOT to do.

Updated: Nov 18, 2021


We all know that feeling, your boss emails you to come see them to "have a chat", or your mother in law wants "to talk", or you just had yet another fight with your partner and now you need to clear the air. You are dreading it, you know it is not going to be fun, it will be awkward or difficult or just down right awful...so you AVOID IT.


Am I right?!


You know I'm right. And then what happens? Animosity builds, you lose sleep because of the anxiety, your relationship is strained and the anticipation is causing so much stress you cant eat or work or think about anything else. So stop avoiding the "Talk" and prepare yourself instead.


Here are my top 5 tips when heading into a difficult conversation:

  1. Prepare - what do you want to ensure the other person understands from your perspective?

  2. Listen to Learn, not to respond - let them finish! Try not to interrupt or formulate your response while they are still talking!

  3. Use "I" statements - for example, "I feel judged" instead of "you are judgemental"

  4. Stay curious - ask clarifying questions to ensure you've understood what they are saying and not interpreting it to fit your own narrative

  5. Validate - nothing breaks down barriers of resentment or anger like someone's feelings/point of view being validated. You do not have to agree, but you have to acknowledge.

And above all else, ask for help if you need it! Did you know that in addition to coaching clients for general communication needs, we also prep folks for specific conversations that they anticipate to be especially difficult.


So reach out.

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