The power of an honest conversation

Do you hate having difficult conversations? Do you find yourself lost for words when you are trying to express how you feel? Do you struggle to speak up and say what you’re truly thinking? Or do you get frustrated when conversations don’t go your way?

In our modern world, I believe we’re loosing the art of communication. We’ve forgotten how to have an honest and empowering conversation face to face. Although technology has its benefits, we have started to hide behind mediums like FaceBook or text messaging in order to communicate.

I never forget the time (in the days I worked in an office) when I got an email from a colleague to ask me if I wanted to have a meeting in 10 minutes. Nothing wrong with that, except she was sitting less than 3 feet away from me! I couldn’t quite believe it!

Not engaging with people has its consequences: We don’t feel seen or heard and we can become lost in our own world where we can feel disengaged and disconnected.

We also begin to fear speaking up and being able to have difficult, but necessary, conversations. We avoid confrontation at all costs and then relationships break down; at home, at work, and with friends.

What if it could be different? And, instead we can learn to speak up, tell others what we are thinking and feeling, and everyone can feel good about it!

Here’s how you can change the quality of conversations:

  1. Avoid technology – Instead of sending a message, pick up the phone and call someone. Arrange a Skype call or catch up for dinner or a coffee so you can enjoy each other’s company!
  2. Truth and Honesty – Start talking from the heart. Speak truthfully and honestly about what’s going on for you. When we are hurt or feel wronged it’s easy to blame someone else for how we feel. Take responsibility for how you are feeling. Others will listen to you rather than feeling they are being blamed.
  3. Listen – We can sometimes be focused on what we want to contribute rather than really listening to what the other person is saying. Next time you are chatting to someone focus on what they are saying so you can respond and the other person feels heard.
  4. Outcome – How would you like the conversation to go? How do you want to feel afterwards? How do you want the other person to feel? Focus on this outcome and your conversation will start to flow in that direction.

All of these points shape the outcome of a conversation. As we get better at having these authentic conversations, we start to see our relationships change for the better. What’s not to like about that?!

Remember:  Start small. Start having a conversation in a different way. Is there someone that you struggle to communicate more? Your boss, your partner? Your kids? How can you start to have a different conversation with them; one that is more empowering, more honest and one that is focused on moving forward?

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