How to say difficult things well
Due to our backgrounds and life experience we all come to difficult conversations with a skill set that can be a mixed bag of poor, good or excellent tools. Developing our skills to give ourselves excellent abilities to dialogue with others is a most important aim for our own development.
- very easy to talk about easy subjects badly,
- possible to talk about easy and hard subjects badly
- but saying the hard things well is very much an art for leaders.
Here are some tips on personal communication that will help us to be great communicators.
- Win people, not arguments
- Stay positive even when its negative
- Aim to always create ways for people to talk safely about what concerns them
- When it is going badly, pause to consider how you can make the conversation safe again and dialogue flow before continuing
- Reflect on your performance after a challenging conversation and consider ways to improve
- Observe people to see them say things well, get observed, observe and critique your staff!
Some great resources
- Crucial Conversations (Patterson, Grenny, Mcmillan, Switzler ISBN 0071771328), is a very helpful book in this regard in exploring this subject and showing how to improve skills in creating great dialogue over difficult subjects.
- The series of articles on Mapping Dialogue also gives a variety of techniques that help build dialogue in challenging and non-challenging environments.