The conversation is getting heated. You can feel the pressure inside you building. You need to speak. How should you speak so you get heard with adding fuel to the flames? Try these 7 tips to speaking effectively in fiery conversations and see what happens!
- Slow yourself down and pause the voice inside your head. Remember, that voice is highlighting your emotional reaction and what you need to access is your rational processing. If you breathe, tell yourself ‘you can handle this’, you have a greater chance of focusing on what is really being said and therefore what you actually need to speak to.
- Make sure the other person knows you are slowing down and focusing on them. This includes attentive and curious eye contact, settled body movement, and encouraging facial expressions. It’s ok…you might as well find out what the person is thinking because they are thinking it anyways.
- See the other person the way they want to be seen first (paraphrase of a Mahatma Gandhi quote!)
- Ask questions that link to what is being said.
- Verbally prove you heard what is being said, even if you disagree.
- Verbally agree where you can, as often as you can. Fascinating how agitated people like to be agreed with!
- Own what is yours to own. If you erred in some way, own it without excuses.
This should add water to the flames and turn the conversation into a more productive dialogue that allows the relationship to stay intact.