If you want to get good at handling a Critical Conversation, you need to acquire a toolkit used by most professional orators and politicians. By learning how to debate, you will get your point across in the most effective way, while at the same time keeping everyone involved as happy in losing as they would be in winning.
How To Debate
When Stakes Are High, Emotions Run High You Can Either:
- Avoid the conversation,
- Handle the conversation badly or,
- Learn how to handle the conversation
The 6 Steps To Handling Critical Conversations are:
1. Talk Earnestly
Engage all parties involved in dialogue. The key to engaging dialogue is to build a shared pool of ideas by making it safe for others to open up and express themselves. Create a pool of ideas. The more information we have in the pool, the better prepared we are to make decisions and get results.
2. Know What You Really Want
Knowing what you really want will act a good goal to aim for throughout the dialogue. All many routes but keep your end goal in mind.
3. Know When The Conversation Becomes Crucial
The sooner we notice we’re not in dialogue, the quicker we can get back to dialogue, and the lower the cost. Learn to look for when a conversation becomes crucial, for signs of silence and violence, and for your own style under stress. A large part of this is watching your actions and emotions, as well as the actions and emotions of the other person.
Paying attention to both the content of the discussion and how people are acting and feeling is no easy task. But it’s an essential part of dialogue.
4. Make It Safe to Talk about Almost Anything
When things go wrong in crucial conversations, we assume the content of our message is the problem, so we begin to water it down or avoid it altogether. But, as long as your intent is pure and you learn how to make it safe for others, you can talk to almost anyone about almost anything. The key is to make the other person feel safe. To do this, there are two things the person needs to know.
First, they need to know that you care about their best interests and goals. This is called mutual purpose.
Second, they need to know that you care about them. This is called mutual respect. When people believe both of these things, they relax and can absorb what you’re saying; they feel safe.
5. How to Stay in Dialogue When You’re Angry, Scared, or Hurt
When we become upset, our most common reaction is to defend ourselves and place the blame on others. The key to how we feel lies in the stories we tell. These stories consist of our guess as to why people do what they do. As we become emotional, our story seems to be “What is the worst and most hurtful way I can take this?” This negative spin escalates our emotions and causes us to do the worst when it matters the most.
To break away from this emotion, you must rethink the conclusions you drew and the judgments you made. That requires you to tell the rest of the story. The new stories create new feelings and support new and healthier actions.
6. Speak Persuasively, Not Abrasively
You have to know how to speak without offending and how to be persuasive without being abrasive. The five skills that help us share our tough messages can be easily remembered with the acronym STATE. It stands for:
Share your facts
Tell your story
Ask for others’ paths
How To Debate – Book Club: