3 Strategies for Saying What Needs To Be Said. [I Couldn’t Live Without #1.]
Navigating business and social conversations can be a tricky at times. But does it have to be that way?
I was with a couple of friends over the weekend, and something interesting happened. A game of sorts organically came about as we were prepping for dinner when one friend said something so polite it could only be perceived as an exaggeration.
To be funny, I interpreted what was said, applying the truth I believed to be behind it.
What was said: “That’s fine. Do whatever you like.”
My interpretation: “Go ahead and do it, but at a time that is advantageous to me and inconvenient for you, I will hold this against you.”
We all laughed and the game continued. On occasion, rather than an interpretation we would call out “truth!”
It was a fun way to call out the half-truths we say to keep everything smooth in social situations. It’s a part of life, but it’s important to recognize that there are a limited amount of situations you want to be telling half-truths.
When you come across a situation when the truth needs to be told, pull from any of these strategies to keep your blood pressure level and your words flowing easily.
1. Come from a place of wanting to help
I know this may sound hokey, but if you come from a place of helping the other person your words are more likely to be well received.
“I’m concerned about what I’m seeing and I don’t think you’re getting the results that you want to get. I’ve noticed you do a, b, c and don’t do x, y, z and I think that may be the root of the problem.”
In this example the welfare of the other person is at the forefront. Their change in behavior may benefit you as well (likely does if this situation has caused you stress) but the focus on the conversation is about making sure the other person gets what they want.
2. Take responsibility for your feelings and contribution to the problem
“I feel hurt and frustrated when you act this way. I’ve never mentioned it to you before now, and I apologize for keeping it to myself. I need your support now and this is how you can help me…”
If a situation is causing you stress the fastest way to a solution is to take 100% responsibility for the fact that the problem exists (or continues to exist). This perspective will allow you to see what you can do to get to a solution, rather than waiting for someone else to figure it out and make the change themselves.
3. Lay out the facts and ask for some perspective
“Over the past month all your projects have come in late. This has disrupted the timeline of our goals and we’re not getting the results that we said we wanted to achieve. What’s going on? Is there some situation I can help with that is causing you to miss deadlines?”
You can also follow this up with “How can you ensure your projects come in on time going forward?” and “What can I do to support you?”
The point of the follow up questions is to partner with the other person on the solution and to convey your commitment to their success.
To Wrap Up…
I hope you find these strategies helpful and implement at least one of them today.
If you’d like to add anything, or suggest a strategy of your own, I’m sure the Luma community would be very appreciative! Just add your strategy into the comment section below.
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