5 Major Mistakes to Avoid in a Tough Conversation
Sometimes a difficult conversation needs to happen. But even when the signs are all there, we may avoid them because we’re fearful of the outcome. Meanwhile, something remains askew because of our reluctance to address it.
With preparation and practice, however, you can be more confident in addressing a difficult issue. To help you get started, here are 5 major mistakes to avoid:
- Don’t assume your perspective is obvious
Steer clear of phrases like “clearly,” “obviously,” or “without a doubt,” which are likely to insult your counterpart.
- Don’t exaggerate
Skip any statements that start with “You always…” or “You never…” They’re rarely true.
- Don’t challenge
Someone’s character or integrity. You’ll just make the person defensive if you tell them they’re “unprofessional,” “wrong,” or “unethical.”
- Don’t tell others what they should do
People feel judged by “should” statements. Try saying “You might consider…,” “One possibility is…,” or “Have you thought of…?” instead.
- Don’t say “It’s not personal”
Recognize that even when it’s not personal to you; it might be for the other person.