Difficult conversations come about when we need to share unpleasant news, discuss a sensitive subject, or talk about an issue that has gone awry and needs to change. The anticipation of having this type of conversation creates unease, as our minds typically imagine or anticipate a worst possible outcome.
Etiquette creates ease within yourself and others. Remembering this as you go into a difficult conversation will not only get you through it without total discomfort but can help establish a better outcome than the one you initially thought.
To prepare for a discussion with someone, it may be helpful to recap realizations about boundaries. After all, it is the boundaries that we set for ourselves that can get in the way of agreement or harmony with others.
Understanding that our boundaries can be as individual as we are can help you approach a difficult conversation with acceptance and empathy. It may also help you express your view of the current circumstances or situation more clearly.
Anytime there is discomfort or disagreement between individuals, it stands to reason that venting helps release some of the tension created. But this is something that should be done privately and before you enter a conversation with the offending party.
Once you’ve had your time to vent and put your thoughts in order, you can focus on your body language. Easing tension will help put your physical body in a more relaxed state. Now you can focus on your demeanor and how you represent yourself when speaking with someone.
When it’s time for your conversation, remember these etiquette-ful guidelines.
Now that you’ve taken responsibility for the situation you can relax, knowing that you’ve done what you can to clarify yourself and that you are looking forward to continuing in right (or good) relationship.
Sometimes the most important conversations are the most difficult to engage in. But using etiquette and empathy to help you through it will leave you with the satisfaction of knowing you did the right thing to the best of your ability.