How to Have a Difficult Conversation

Having a difficult conversation is… well… difficult… These tips should help.

Having a difficult conversation can be challenging and uncomfortable, but it’s often necessary to address issues and work towards resolution. Here are some steps to help you have a difficult conversation effectively:

  1. Prepare: Take some time to prepare for the conversation. Identify the issue or topic that needs to be addressed, clarify your own thoughts and feelings, and consider what outcome you hope to achieve.
  2. Choose the right time and place: Choose a time and place where both parties can feel comfortable and have privacy. Avoid having the conversation in a public or crowded place.
  3. Use “I” statements: Use “I” statements to express your thoughts and feelings, rather than making assumptions or placing blame on the other person. For example, “I feel hurt when you don’t show up on time” instead of “You are always late and you don’t care about my time.”
  4. Listen actively: Listen actively to the other person’s perspective without interrupting or judging. Paraphrase what they are saying to ensure that you understand their point of view.
  5. Stay focused on the issue: Stay focused on the issue at hand and avoid bringing up unrelated topics or past events. Stick to the facts and avoid making assumptions.
  6. Brainstorm solutions: Work together to find a solution or resolution that works for both parties. Be open to compromise and seek common ground.
  7. Follow up: After the conversation, follow up with the other person to ensure that the issue has been resolved and that both parties are satisfied.

Remember, having a difficult conversation can be uncomfortable, but it can also be an opportunity for growth and understanding. By preparing, using “I” statements, actively listening, staying focused on the issue, and brainstorming solutions, you can have a difficult conversation effectively and work towards resolution.

If you need help having a difficult conversation, help is available.

Contact one of our therapists now.