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Difficult Conversations and How to Turn Them Around

Aug 17, 2007
Many of us have run into a difficult conversation. Some people even like difficult conversations. Arguments are necessary and are going to happen, but this difficulty shouldn't stop you from communicating.

Nobody agrees 100% of the time, so arguing is a natural part of the conversation. However, some arguments are unproductive and lead to hard feelings and can even ruin relationships. Knowing how to deal with difficult conversations can ensure that your argument will not turn out too bad.

The following tips will help you to argue more effectively. You will see how you can learn from an argument and what is necessary to make sure an argument ends on the right foot.

Tip#1 Communicate effectively.

You should not use yelling and harsh words to get your point across. Instead speak calmly and be cautious of words you use. Use sentences that say "I" instead of blaming sentences that use "You". You should always be aware that you have a point and try to explain it while also taking in the other persons point.

Tip#2 Remember the other person.

There are two sides to any argument. You should give the other person respect and listen to their side. Do not shut them out.

Do not stray from the topic at hand. Most often people start bringing up past fights or other things that are completely unrelated to the current argument. Doing his can cause the other person to shut down and not even want to speak to you.

Tip#3 Focus.

You should be really trying to work out the problem. Keep feelings out of the mix. Do not try to make the other person feel bad because they disagree with you. Watch their body language to see if they are tense or starting to feel relaxed.

Arguments go better when people can relax a little. This helps them to listen better. Be specific with what you think and what you want the outcome to be. Avoid using the phrase 'I don't know'.

Tip#4 Resolution.

The ultimate goal with difficult conversations is to resolve the issue. Try to work out a compromise. Perhaps someone will have changed their mind by the end. You need to resolve any negative feelings that may have cropped up as a result of the argument.

You want everything to return to as it was before the argument. Nobody should hold any resentment or the argument was never really resolved.

These four tips offer some great insight into how to argue effectively. You do not have to fight to get things done. You can use these tips in almost any atmosphere where difficult conversations may crop up.

It doesn't even matter if the other person is not reacting this way, as long as you use the tips the other person should calm down as well. You are not only arguing effectively, but teaching others by example how to argue better.
About the Author
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available only at: difficult conversations
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