Define An Emotional Intention To Make Difficult Conversations Easier

Define An Emotional Intention To Make Difficult Conversations Easier
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Confronting someone about a problem or concern is hard from the start. However, if you come at it from a standpoint of venting your own emotions, it will just get harder. Before you have the talk, define the emotional goal you want the conversation to end with.

Picture: Ed Yourdon/Flickr

As author and communication expert Dr Marcia Reynolds explains, your own emotions can set the tone for a difficult conversation and determine the outcome before you ever start talking. Instead, gather your thoughts before you get there and approach the conversation with a specific emotional goal:

Set an emotional intention for the conversation. If you’re angry or disappointed from the beginning, the other person will never open up. What do you want him or her to feel? Inspired? Hopeful? Use this word as an anchor during the conversation.

The emotional goal can be what you want to get off your chest or how you want the other person to respond, but at the very least it should lead to a constructive end to the problem. Venting your anger at someone is only going to upset them in return and perpetuate the cycle.

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