How to Have Tough Conversations

How do you have tough conversations? Are you somebody who struggles with conflict or confrontation? Maybe you shut down, or avoid having those big conversations because you’re scared of the impact that’s going to have?

Today I want to offer you some simple yet highly effective tools to have those tough conversations with anyone in your life in a way that builds and deepens relationships.

I grew up in a household where there was not a lot of conflict or confrontation, especially in front of us as kids, and so I really never gained that skill of being in conflict or having tough conversations, and it’s something that I had to learn.

I was part of a board of directors that brought in a facilitator to do some training, and she introduced us to this idea that conflict builds intimacy. It blew my mind because I had never looked at conflict that way! She said when you’re able to have tough conversations and be in conflict with somebody and do it really well, it brings you closer together, building greater connection and more intimacy. Just that reframe around what conflict means completely changed the way that I looked at it.

Adopt that when you’re faced with a difficult conversation with confrontation and conflict, to be able to just choose to think to yourself, “This is an opportunity to build intimacy, to build connection, to grow!” Ultimately that’s what most of us want in our relationships – we don’t want them just to stay stale!  If we don’t take conflict as an opportunity to grow, another option is where we start to build walls. Resentment starts to occur. We shut down. Instead of deepening and growing the relationship, it can start to spiral downwards.

So how do you have these conversations that can potentially be uncomfortable? Tool number one around confrontation, is to decide that it is an opportunity to build connection and intimacy.

One of my mentors calls them 10 minute sweaty palm conversations, and that’s really how it can feel! 

If we don't take conflict as an opportunity to grow, another option is where we start to build walls, resent, shut down. Instead of deepening and growing the relationship, it can start to spiral downwards.

The second thing is tool number 2 – to start with the end in mind.

Connect to your vision – what is it that you would love in this relationship? What’s the result that you’re really working towards? When we have conversations coming from our vision we’re usually in a much better place. It takes our energy off of the conflict, off of the dissension, and it puts us in the thinking of what it is that we would love to create.

So now we’re coming from the vision, and when you have a conversation from the vision, people connect to that differently.

Today’s topic on YouTube

Know that this is an opportunity to build connection, to build intimacy, connect to your vision and then from there, really really helpful to ask for permission. To set it up for success, say something like, “Hey, I want to have a tough conversation with you. This is a little bit uncomfortable for me, I’m feeling a little bit vulnerable, but the purpose of this conversation is so that we can grow closer together.”

Set up the conversation for success.

  • Set the intention
  • Let the other person know that you want to talk to them about something
  • Say that this is hard for you, but it’s important to you because they are important to you and their relationship is important to you.
  • State your goal. “Really, my goal here is that we grow closer together”.

Because you set your conversation up that way, the other person doesn’t put their back up or go on the defensive. They know what your intention is and why you want to have that conversation.

Then ask for permission, “Is now a good time to have that conversation?”

Sometimes we’ll catch somebody in the middle of something – in a stressful moment, they’ve got lots on the go – and we are ready to have a deep meaningful conversation, but their minds are somewhere else. So again, ask for permission, is now a good time? And they can say “Yeah, now is great.” or “Can you give me five minutes?” or “Could we do that later tonight?” and can prepare to sit down and have a conversation where you’re both focused.

Now you’re coming to the table with your vision for your relationship together and the intention for the conversation, and now you’re having that conversation in a time that you’ve both agreed upon.

That conversation still may not be easy. It’s still a 10 minute sweaty palm conversation which can be uncomfortable. You’re vulnerable, but you’re willing to lean in in order to build connection and intimacy.

Stacey Berger Business Coach
YOU ARE DESIGNED
FOR GREATNESS!
Would you love to discover your passion, access your potential, take action and live with purpose?
Join us for a FREE, one on one STRATEGY SESSION.

One final tool that you can use, especially when you’re specifically talking to a partner or spouse, and you’re asking them to change a behaviour or are looking for a different result, is to invite them into an experiment.

Say “You know what? I’ve been working with my mindset, I’ve been working with the power of my words, and I’m really wanting to create a new result for myself. For us, would you be willing to do an experiment with me for the next week, for the next 30 days, where we’re having this type of conversation?” It’s a way that we can invite our partners, if this is a business partner, if this is a intimate relationship, to grow together.

Oftentimes when we’re asking somebody to enter into an experiment, there’s a set time so it doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming or threatening if it’s not something they are fully bought into.

Ultimately, you’re using this strategy to create relationships that you’re in love with. The alternative is that we start to shut down, we build walls between us, resentment builds, and I don’t think that’s what any of us wants in our relationship.

I hope that you use these, and if they served you today. If you know somebody else that would benefit from having difficult conversations and tools around handling confrontation, be sure to share this with them.

Here is to you living a life you love!

Stacey

Mindset challenge

FREE 28 DAY CHALLENGE

28-day mindset challenge and watch the momentum shift.

Mindset coaching

FREE
MEDITATION

30-minute meditation to create a life you LOVE living! 

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

About Stacey

Stacey Berger

Stacey Berger

After 16 years of climbing the corporate ladder, mentoring entrepreneurs in marking, operations and finance, I made the decision in 2014 to teach success principles full time, combining my love of business and personal development.

TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR MAIL BOX

When you submit your name and email you are opting-in for our weekly email newsletter and relevant upcoming updates from Stacey Berger. You can unsubscribe at any time.

TRANSFORMATION IN YOUR MAIL BOX

When you submit your name and email you are opting-in for our weekly email newsletter and relevant upcoming updates from Stacey Berger. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Stacey Berger arms up business coach