I have found in the last year some surprising results from having very truthful conversations with people. In particular there were two different situations at work that required very honest communication and resulted in mutual acknowledgment of ‘the elephant in the room’.
In preparation for both conversations, I had to strip away emotion and judgement as much as possible and try to communicate my perception of what was happening, without accusing the other person of wrongdoing.
In both cases, the other person confirmed what I suspected to be the crux of the problem and we then proceeded to have very productive conversations about how to mutually solve the problem and next steps.
Removing my emotional response to the problem did require a lot of lot of work ahead of time: I had to chose my words very carefully. However both situations were a revelation and encouraged me to continue this approach. Addressing ‘the elephant in the room’ allowed for both parties to begin resolving the problem from a more truthful place.
Is there a situation with someone in your life where speaking about it without an emotional response could result in a better outcome?
[originally published November 2019]