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The Ultimate Guide to Having a Difficult Conversation You've Been Avoiding

# A Game Plan for That Conversation You've Been Putting Off ## Introduction - Explain what a difficult conversation is and why people avoid or delay it - Mention some of the negative consequences of not having the conversation, such as damaged relationships, missed opportunities, or unresolved problems - State the main purpose of the article: to provide a game plan for having a difficult conversation with confidence and respect - Preview the main points of the article: preparation, ground rules, listening, being direct, and following up ## Preparation - Explain why preparation is important for a successful conversation - Suggest some steps to prepare, such as clarifying the purpose, identifying the desired outcome, anticipating the other person's perspective, and choosing a time and place - Provide some examples of how to prepare for different types of difficult conversations, such as giving feedback, asking for a raise, or breaking bad news ## Ground Rules - Explain why ground rules are helpful for creating a safe and productive space for the conversation - Suggest some ground rules to follow, such as staying at eye level, speaking calmly, avoiding blame or insults, and respecting each other's views - Provide some examples of how to set and enforce ground rules in different situations, such as when someone is angry, defensive, or emotional ## Listening - Explain why listening is crucial for understanding and resolving the issue - Suggest some skills to practice active listening, such as asking open-ended questions, reflecting back what you hear, and showing interest and empathy - Provide some examples of how to listen effectively in different scenarios, such as when someone is vague, confused, or silent ## Being Direct - Explain why being direct is beneficial for both parties and the relationship - Suggest some tips to be direct without being rude, such as using "I" statements, being specific and factual, and acknowledging emotions - Provide some examples of how to be direct in different contexts, such as when someone is in denial, resistant, or hostile ## Following Up - Explain why following up is necessary for ensuring accountability and closure - Suggest some ways to follow up after the conversation, such as summarizing the main points, agreeing on action steps, expressing appreciation, and checking in later - Provide some examples of how to follow up in different cases, such as when someone is cooperative, reluctant, or forgetful ## Conclusion - Recap the main points of the article: preparation, ground rules, listening, being direct, and following up - Emphasize the benefits of having a difficult conversation rather than avoiding it - Encourage the reader to apply the game plan to their own situation and see the positive results ## FAQs - Q: What if the other person doesn't want to have the conversation? - A: You can try to persuade them by explaining why it's important for both of you and what you hope to achieve. You can also offer them some choices about when and where to have it. If they still refuse, you can decide whether to let it go or escalate it to someone else who can help. - Q: What if the conversation gets heated or emotional? - A: You can try to calm things down by taking a break, using humor, or showing empathy. You can also remind them of the ground rules and ask them to respect them. If they still get out of control, you can end the conversation and resume it later when they are more calm. - Q: What if I don't know what to say or how to say it? - A: You can prepare some key points and phrases before the conversation and practice them out loud. You can also use some templates or scripts that are available online or in books. You can also ask for feedback from someone you trust on how you sound and how you can improve. - Q: What if I make a mistake or say something wrong? - A: You can apologize sincerely and explain what you meant. You can also ask for clarification or correction if you misunderstood something. You can also admit that you don't know everything and that you are open to learning more. - Q: What if the conversation doesn't go as planned or expected? - A: You can be flexible and adaptable to the situation. You can also acknowledge that things may not go perfectly and that you are willing to work on them. You can also focus on what went well and what you learned from the experience.

A Game Plan For That Conversation You Ve Been Putting Off

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