When a confrontation looms, we often take the road easiest traveled for as long as possible, even if it’s the one labeled “avoidance” and takes us miles out of our way, causing plenty of wear and tear on the psyche envisioning the worst.
The thing is, the problem isn’t likely to go away without a tough talk, so 99u’s Scott McDowell has offered five recommendations for how to make the shortest path to resolution the smoothest one as well.
1. Draw out possibility. Instead of using a blunt doorstop of a statement like, “This is the problem!” turn it into a question. “What would you say if…?” or “Could it be that…?” are both great disarming phrases.
2. Share the impact. One tactic to disengage harsh feelings is to share the anxiety or tension that you feel about the conversation. Andrew Lightheart, who runs workshops about how to communicate in high-stakes situations and writes the blog, A Peaceful Resolution, says communicating your anxiety about the conversation can help you “step out of automatic roles and become a bit more human.” Just stating your discomfort can soften the prickliness.
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Creative ways to confront.
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