Randy was upset… his co-worker had spoken harshly to him and he was offended. His co-worker, Todd, was also offended because he felt he had not been listened to. If you are in a family, a work place, a committee or a friendship – guess what? You have ample time to be in a situation where you may have conflict. We just don’t always see eye to eye on things.

Having these tough conversations means someone needs to start and that just maybe you. Invite the other person to discuss the situation. They may be angry or hurt and may not want to talk, and that’s okay. So then, suggest a time in the future when you can both get together to talk – and sometimes it means bringing in a third party. That’s okay too!

  • Initially ask yourself why this is such a trigger for you – there is something in your past experience that makes this an area where you want to stand your ground or be hurt
  • Then think about whether this specific topic is worth ending a relationship over because that could happen – regardless, you still want the conversation it just may change how you have the conversation
  • Come into the conversation wondering what may have triggered the other person and their reaction as well
  • Be prepared to only talk about the issue at hand – when side issues come up defer them to another time
  • Listen to exactly to the other person’s words
  • Do not get your response ready – this means you really aren’t listening

Now to get down to the actual conversation:

  • Spell out the situation as you see it and ask the other person to do the same – that way you both understand what it is you are talking about
  • Both of you can ask questions to fully understand what led up to the situation
  • Ask yourself, “What part did I play in this situation for it to get to where it is now”?
  • Explain the impact of this to the other individual and describe what the future might look like if the two of you don’t sort this out
  • Describe the perfect outcome when the two of you have finished talking and the consequence of nothing changing
  • Agree on the actions to be taken moving forward

Hopefully you can part respecting each other and the reasons you got into the difficulty in the first place. Just remember, you don’t have to be best friends or buddies, you simply want to have the ability to accept each other for who each of you are.

Oh yes, Randy and Todd sat down with their boss and had a heart-to-heart conversation. The boss guided them in their conversation so they recognized where the conflict came from. After that they were able to work together in a much more amiable manner – life-long friends – no, however, they were able to respect each other.

You can too – conversations can be hard to have. Just imagine though, not having them. You are doomed to not enjoying the richness of that other person’s life experiences in your life. Do the hard thing – get in touch with those conversations you need to have today.

Sherry’s CORNER

Have you got your “shot”? Last week we both got our vaccination  – Pfizer. This is expected to keep us safer until we get the next shot and then we will be 95% immune to COVID. But that’s not why I bring this up. I’m never comfortable when it comes to needles – the nurse who administered them to my husband and I was terrific. She talked to me while she was preparing and administering the dose. I felt the prick and not the pain! Why?

I believe it was because she was aware of my concerns and adapted her approach to sooth my nervousness. You probably know people who make your life easier because they go out of their way to treat you how you need and want to be treated. Tell us your story of getting your COVID shot when someone made your life easier.

After all, in the end we may all be better off with the vaccine and the world may be a better place once we come out of this pandemic.

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