Blake Burge 💡

Blake Burge 💡



4 words no one likes to hear: "We need to talk" A framework for having difficult conversations:

I get it. Difficult conversations are no fun. I don't like having them, and I'll bet–you don't either. Telling someone something that they don't want to hear is hard... Doing it without a plan? Well––that's even harder.

Do your homework: •Can you clearly define the issue? •What do you hope to accomplish? •What is an ideal outcome? •How do you get there from here? If you can't answer these––stop. Going in unprepared and expecting a positive result is a fool's errand.

Don't bury the lead: Cut out the small talk & get to the point. You don't need to be harsh, but you need to be direct. You're not doing anyone any favors by slow-playing this. Meandering conversation & avoiding what needs to be said is self-serving & inconsiderate at best.

Ask yourself: Are you being consistent? Are you focused solely on being right? Have you considered the impact this conversation will have on you and the other person? What if it doesn't go well? Take time to consider the possible outcomes prior to having the discussion.

Rip the band-aid: At some point, you've thought about it enough. I've been there. •Replaying what you'll say over & over in your mind. •Trying to craft the "perfect" dialogue. You're stalling. Sit down–say what you need to say–move on. Both sides will be better for it.

It's not just what you say... How you speak to people matters–especially when delivering unpleasant news. Conversations are a two-way street. •Don't talk AT people talk TO them. •Consider the weight of your words. Remember: You've had time to think about this–they haven't.

Stop talking: You've said your piece, now it's time to listen. I mean REALLY listen. •Hear the other person's thoughts. •Consider their point of view. •Don't talk over them. You might be surprised. It may be you that needs to hear some hard truths after all.

Agree to disagree: The world isn't all sunshine & roses. Despite your best efforts, sometimes things won't work out. That's ok. There's no rule that says we have to agree on everything. Often, the point of a hard conversation is having had the conversation at all.

What's next: The dust has settled. Both sides have made their point. Where do you go from here? The worst outcome is no outcome at all. Good or bad, agree or disagree, a clear understanding of how to move forward is key. Communicate this, then get to work at getting better.

Thank's for reading! If you found this helpful: Follow me @blakeaburge for weekly threads on business, productivity, & building a better you. Check out my newsletter: "While You Were Away" The best content on Twitter – in your inbox – every Sunday.

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