Turning an Uncomfortable Conversation Around
We’ve been creating some presentations on rapport and all the ways it can benefit people, both personally and professionally.
And of course, as life would have it, I had the opportunity to experience firsthand the positive impact that rapport can have……
My daughters attend a daycare where sadly the teachers don’t seem to enjoy their job at all. Without going into the details, I made the decision to give my notice. I was pulling them out because the teachers treat the kids poorly. But for me, that is a very uncomfortable conversation to have. Truth be told, I was really nervous about it and had to do a lot of mental prep before I picked up the phone.
So, here is how I approached it……
First of all, I listened very carefully. Her voice was quiet and low, which is not my natural tendency, but I spoke in the same way so that I could create a connection. You’d be amazed at how well this works. And then rather than blaming her and her staff (which I’m sure many parents would do, perhaps rightfully so), I made it about me, my girls, and our needs. I was very clear about my decision, but was also compassionate and kind to her in my delivery.
And, guess what? The conversation went better than I could ever have imagined! It actually opened up the communication lines in a way I hadn’t expected. Because of the way I approached her, she didn’t have to be defensive at all and actually in turn, we ended up talking about her daycare, her employees and the changes she knows she needs to make. She could actually hear what I was saying and not feel judged.
I hung up the phone in awe of how well the conversation had gone.
A conversation that could have been so uncomfortable and full of conflict had gone smoothly leaving both of us feeling good. And my girls may now have been the catalyst to some much needed changes, which is great!
In hindsight I can see why it went so well. I took the time to build rapport so that we had a connection first by matching her voice. Once we had that connection, I gave her my notice but was very careful not to cast blame, which allowed her to open up and hear my true concerns. What a great experience!
What happens when you have to have a difficult conversation?
Do you know how to purposefully guide the conversation? Or do you dive right in, ready for conflict if need be and just hope for the best? If you are a person who enjoys things flowing easily and doesn’t enjoy conflict, then building rapport is a great skill to learn. It’s fast, it’s easy and it changes relationships and interactions on the spot. It is very powerful. Tony Robbins says that Rapport is Power and I tend to agree!
If you would like to learn more about how to turn uncomfortable situations around, call us at 778-294-0447 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to support you in any way we can.