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The Art of the Awkward Conversation

It’s important to address issues that crop up in your life and career

You know the ones – those things that are vital to good communication but intimidating to talk about. Things like asking for what you need, confronting a friend, denying a work request, or apologizing. There are so many situations in life when it is important to be empowered to say what you need to say.

But these conversations can be intimidating. Whether it’s a fear of confrontation, or awkwardness, facing these situations head-on makes us cringe.

The ability to have difficult conversations gives us the skills we need to work through obstacles. It’s important to embrace the discomfort and learn how to have these discussions.

If you need some help to master the art of the awkward conversation, here are a few tips.

Focus on the important issue

Many times, when we’re walking into an awkward conversation, we’re frustrated. If the other person has said or done things to irritate us, it’s easy to let that frustration come out as hostility or accusations.

Although it may be cathartic to unload all your anger or resentment, it won’t help you solve the problem. Most likely, it will cause the person you are speaking with to become hostile and defensive, and the conversation can quickly disintegrate into an all-out brawl.

Instead, try to set aside your emotion and focus on the important issue at hand. Explain how the person’s attitude or actions has impacted you. Collaborate with them on solutions.

It’s easier said than done to set aside your irritation to approach the problem together. But if you are able to focus on what’s really important – solving the problem – then you will have much more success in addressing the issue.

Speak with grace and confidence

Once you have addressed the important issue and opened the problem-solving dialogue, you need to be confident.

Don’t let fear or intimidation make you passive. It’s good to be flexible, but that doesn’t mean you should accept anything less than what you need.

Speak with confidence and grace. Listen and engage politely with the other person. Remember, awkward conversation can be embarrassing but also open and direct. Having an honest conversation about what you both need can lead to real growth.

Accept that you may not get a positive response

Prepare yourself for the possibility that the person you’re talking with may not respond well. Even if you keep your emotions in check and try to step into a problem-solving space, the person may not listen and respond.

Sometimes, people cannot set aside their emotions and consider another person’s perspective. In some cases, they may be hostile or disrespectful.

If you truly feel like there is an ongoing pattern of disrespect and inappropriate behavior, then you need to set some boundaries. It doesn’t matter if the person is a coworker, friend, or even a family member.

Set healthy boundaries so that you can protect your mental and physical well-being. You can’t control how a person reacts to awkward conversations, but you can control the level of access you give them to your life.

It will get easier with time

Although awkward conversations may make you sweat, they really do get easier with time. The best thing you can do is embrace the discomfort and forge ahead. With each conversation, you’ll get a little better at addressing and solving problems.

Developing skills for hard conversations will make your relationships more honest and fulfilling. It’s a great skill to have in your career, and also in your personal life.

Awkward conversations don’t have to be an ugly thing. They can lead to more openness and understanding, which is why it’s important to have them.

Instead of shying away from what you really want to say, adjust your thinking and lean in to the conflict. With time, you’ll be able to do it with grace and ease.

Today is the day you become unstoppable

Gigi is passionate about helping others claim their confidence and reach their full potential. Using a plan of inspired action throughout her life, Gigi is an expert at assessing situations and tackling obstacles until she is the only one left standing.

If you would like to learn how to become unstoppable like Gigi and find out how to get beyond your limits and fears to really start living with fulfillment, contact her today.

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