Requirements for the hard conversation

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.

  1. 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?"
  2. State the outcome that I want from engaging in the difficult conversation.
  3. Prepare and be willing to accept any consequences of the exchange.
  4. Acknowledge the other person's positive intention.