Whether you are asking for a raise at work or requesting that your spouse be more considerate at home, life is a negotiation. “Uncomfortable” conversations will be more effective if they are structured and premeditated rather than improvised. Here are a few guidelines that can help you navigate the tense terrain.
- Schedule a time for the conversation – don’t drop a bomb on someone when they least expect it or catch them at an inconvenient time when they will brush you off. Find a time that is mutually conducive to both parties so everyone will be receptive and set aside the time.
- Establish ground rules: Communication should not be a free for all chaotic endeavor that results in verbal abuse and hurt feelings or worse. Techniques such as “I messages”, active listening, no interrupting, taking notes, write down points of agreement/compromise, stick to a timetable, stick to the subject
- Schedule a followup meeting to discuss the progress of all topics raised
- Schedule a separate meeting for unrelated topics
- Don’t carry the conversation over past the meeting time.
Here are a few articles about effective communication skills: