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Resources for Difficult Conversations

Having Difficult Conversations

Controversial issues may cause us to avoid discussions with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, or strangers who have a different point of view than we do. Here are some quick tips that may help you to have those conversations.

Ten Steps for Conversations that Encourage Listening

  1. Set the stage: plan a time and place to discuss concerns.

  2. Determine who needs to be involved in the conversation.

  3. Start the conversation; observe without evaluating; use “I” messages.

  4. Listen to understand and identify needs.

  5. Ask, don’t make assumptions.

  6. Separate the problem from the person.

  7. Brainstorm options to resolve the problem.

  8. Choose a mutually agreeable solution.

  9. Reiterate and confirm agreements and follow-up steps.

  10. Agree on a process to resolve differences in the future.

Resources for Difficult Conversations




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