Join Britt Andreatta for an in-depth discussion in this video Four phases of successful conversations, part of Having Difficult Conversations (2013).
Do difficult conversations have to end badly. No. In fact, they can be some of the most successful conversations you've ever had. I've seen relationships completely change for the better as a result of them. From here on now, I'm going to refer to successful conversations. The topic that you're discussing may be difficult, but the outcome can be very positive. When successful conversations happen, the initiator takes a different path. In doing so, they set a whole new trajectory for the problem and the parties involved. Let's break down what the difference is.
Successful conversations also have a pattern and four phases. In this case, they're as follows. Number one, the Buildup. Two, Reflection. Three, the conversation. And four, the Follow Through. The first stage is still the build up, and it's actually the same as before. A series of things happen that make you notice a pattern. Scott sees Joe's behavior as demeaning to him and others. And you may even engage in some case building. It's human nature to verify our views by collecting information.
And so, that's going to happen. Some of it is necessary for sorting out which issues really matter to us. But when you notice that an issue's building, you want to take charge of the process and intentionally enter stage two, the reflection. This stage is the cornerstone of the whole process, so, we're going to explore it thoroughly in later videos. But for now, we can summarize it by saying that you'll spend time reflecting on why the other person's behavior bothers you. More importantly, you'll focus on getting clear about what you really want. You'll try to look at things from their perspective and you'll use that information to prepare for the conversation.
Next, is stage three, the conversation. And it's really designed to be just that, a dialogue between those involved to share their perceptions, identify shared goals, and co-create a solution that works for everyone. And that takes us to stage four, the follow through. The process now unfolds with you and the other person working together, over the next few weeks to implement the changes you've identified. You hold each other accountable and address any issues that arise. When this process goes well, it builds mutual understanding respect and trust, which will carry you through any unforeseen challenges in your plan.
Now, I know some of you are doubting that things can go that smoothly. But I'm telling you, I've seen this process work time and time again. Even in some pretty dicey conflicts where there were a lot of hard feelings already built up. We're now going to cover each stage in depth, and teach you specific skills and strategies to use so, you can have successful conversations.
Along the way, learn the secrets of turning difficult conversations into successful interactions that enhance communication and rapport. Improve both your professional and personal relationships, finding your way back from conflict through mutually successful outcomes.
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- Understand why conversations go badly
- Define the influence of power structures and patterns in a difficult conversation
- Identify observable behaviors and use them to focus on facts and on how behaviors affect the business
- Control the direction of a conversation
- Build a blueprint from which to structure a conversation
- Identify and prepare for resistance during a difficult conversation
- Identify the conversational choices available to you when others resist your efforts