The Difficult Conversation
1. Start from the inside - the Identity Conversation and The Feeling Conversation before you have the What Happened? Conversation.
Once you acknowledge to yourself your identity issues and feelings, you will not need to feel and act defensive and you will be able to maintain your balance during the What Happened Conversation.
2. Use the Feedback Model
♦ When you....specific, descriptive behavior-no interpretations
♦ I feel...
♦ Because it means to me...
♦ And I wish...problem solve the future.
3. Acknowledge the other person’s perceptions, feelings, values AND ALSO acknowledge your perceptions, feelings and values.
♦ Self-disclosure the feelings and meaning their behavior has on you using the feedback model.
♦ Summarize and actively listen to their perceptions, values, and feelings AND acknowledge how your behavior could have that impact...Clarify your intentions.
4. Get off the IMPACT/INTENTION/BLAME GAME SEESAW by actively listening to the other person and taking the AND Stance...
♦ AND Stance is based on the assumption that the world is complex, that you can feel hurt, angry, wronged, AND they can feel just as hurt, angry, and wronged. They can be doing their best, AND you can think that it’s not good enough...You can feel furious AND still care for the person. The AND Stance moves out of the All or Nothing Stance.
Stone, Douglas; Patton, Bruce; Heen, Sheila. 1999. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. New York: Penguin Books.