By Lynn Scott, Featured Contributor
PICTURE THE SCENE …
Your heart’s racing, your stomach’s churning……yes, it’s a ‘tough conversation’ that you’re really dreading (and, be honest, have probably been avoiding for a while). Have you ever dodged the issue, backed down, waffled around the subject, gone in with all guns blazing, felt like a rabbit in the headlights – some or all of the above? Me too!
Even thinking about a challenging conversation can trigger our fight, flight or freeze response. So, often, we do nothing… hope it’ll go away…. Tell ourselves we’ll tackle it when we are ‘less busy’. When in fact we know that avoidance leads to even worse problems in the long run.
So where to start? One of my mantras is ‘Just take the first step’ So here’s the FIRST step to having that Conversation – KNOW YOURSELF. Identify what it is that makes the conversation difficult for YOU.
- Do you want to be liked or to avoid conflict? (I’m a ‘nice person’)
- Don’t trust yourself to manage your emotional state?
- Don’t know the ‘right’ words?
- Don’t want to rock the boat?
So grab a piece of paper and make a start: ‘I’m avoiding this conversation because…..’ Then identify any key themes or patterns that strike you
This exercise is key – it helps us to understand our beliefs about ourselves and others; our mindset (Growth or Fixed?) and the unhelpful scripts that we are using about ourselves or others.