It’s easy when the conversations are casual but what about when they aren’t. Most times its because there is a difference in opinions, the stakes are high or we are emotionally run deep. These conversations are what the author calls crucial conversations. Have you or do you intentionally ignore issues because you just don’t want to have the conversation? If this sounds like you, then you can benefit like me from some of these tips and tools.
What is your “go to” when it comes to sticky topics?
Do you avoid it, handle it however it comes out (most of the time badly) so you just plan for the recovery or handle it well because you took the time to plan prior to the moment?
Two young sisters and their father scurry into their hotel room after spending a hot afternoon at Disneyland. Given the repressive heat, the girls have consumed enough soda pop to fill a small barrel. As the two bursting kids enter the room, they have but one thought. – I gotta go!
Since the bathroom is a one-staller, it isn’t long until a fight breaks out. Both of the desperate children start arguing, pushing and name-calling as they dance around the tiny bathroom. Eventually one calls out to her father for help.
Dad, I got here first!”
“I know, but I need to go worse!”
“How do you know? You’re not in my body. I didn’t even go before we left this morning!”
“You’re so selfish.”
Dad proposed a plan. “Girls, I’m not going to solve this for you. You can stay in the bathroom and figure out who goes first and who goes second. There’s only one rule, no hitting”
As the two antsy kids begin their crucial conversation, Dad checks his watch. He wonders how long it’ll take. As the minutes slowly tick away, he hears nothing more than an occasional outburst of sarcasm. Finally after twenty-five long minutes, the toilet flushes. One girl comes out. A minute later, another flush and out walks the sister. With both girls in the room, Dad asked, ” Do you know how many times both of you could have gone to the bathroom in the time it took you to work that out?”
It’s often said that one can’t see the forest for the trees but more often we can’t see anything pass our personal agenda. When we think about conversations, we are all familiar but about the conversations we don’t like having, the ones we would rather send a text or email. Better yet, not at all.
We all notice how some people handle situations and conversations with ease while others give off an aroma that makes them unapproachable unless we absolutely must. If you don’t know anyone like that, today, check you because you might be that person. More often than not, we do something to contribute to the problems we’re experiencing.
As you start with you. Here is a lasting thought.
As much as others may need to change, or we may want to change, the only person we can continually inspire, prod, and shape – with a degree of success – is the person in the mirror.