When I find myself stuck in a difficult situation, one that is going to require me to initiate a difficult conversation, I require of myself to be able to do the following four things. If I cannot do these, I am either not ready to have the conversation, or I have determined that the conversation is not worth having.
- See my role in the situation — important to note this does not mean blaming myself, but asking, "What is my role in creating it, and what will be my role in solving it?"
- State the outcome that I want from engaging in the difficult conversation.
- Prepare and be willing to accept any consequences of the exchange.
- Acknowledge the other person's positive intention.