Whether it’s in sales, business in general or discussions to be had on a personal level, there will always be conversations more difficult in nature that make us dread picking up the phone, pause before knocking on the door or at the very least make us glad we keep an emergency stick of deodorant in our desk drawer.
Gina tackled gossip, the dangerous game of ‘telephone’ and how damaging ‘he-said-she-said’ situations can be if not approached correctly. “If you’re going to share information that’s difficult, have your shit together”; translation: fact checking is imperative.
Rachel went on to share the delicate nature of those conversations surrounding her work in mortgage because discussing finances with her clients is never an easy feat. It’s especially hard when you have to tell someone that they don’t qualify, “the girl got furious, you know, screamed at me, hung up and sent me a mean text afterwards.”
While situations like that can’t always be avoided because as Rachel said “people don’t want to take ownership of their own shit”, she did provide a few pointers on how limit those types of interaction or at least minimize the blow:
- Do it as soon as you can.
- Make sure it’s a good time.
- Try to make sure you have a solution.
Has your ‘difficult conversation’ already reached a boiling point? It’s best to take a step back.
“If you’re in a situation where there are heated emotions, it’s actually better to back off and say ‘hey, can we take a break and come back to this later?’” Rachel shared from experience. “I’ve been in a few marriages where I wish I had this knowledge…and I think a lot of problems and arguments can be better resolved if people would have the self awareness to do that.”
Then there’s the conversations that are more uncomfortable in nature. Like having ‘the talk’ with your 11-year-old daughter. Struggling with how to broach this subject with your own children? Rachel jokes about launching a website for parents but in the meantime check out Episode 64 to hear Rachel’s full take on her “open and explicit approach” which she hopes better prepares her child for sex, sexuality and how to stay safe through it all.
Still need more guidance? The Women Your Mother Warned You About put together a list of resources that can better help you navigate difficult conversations like how the Harvard Business Review recommends “putting the difficult conversation in perspective by thinking about the future”. Will it matter 3 months or 10 years from now?
7 Tips for Difficult Conversations The Harvard Business Review provides some action-oriented tips including setting goals and staying away from the ‘blame game.’
We Have To Talk Judy Ringer starts with a self-evaluation and focuses on preparedness then encourages readers to ‘practice, practice, practice.”
How to Have Difficult Conversations This article by Psychology Today sets you up with what they call ‘ground rules’ even promoting Rachel’s advice of taking a step back, or what they refer to as ‘time outs.’