Four Simple Steps to Handle Difficult Conversations with Confidence and Ease Four Simple Steps to Handle Difficult Conversations with Confidence and Ease Four Simple Steps to Handle Difficult Conversations with Confidence and Ease Michele Hart Law

Date: January 9, 2020 | Author: Michele Hart

Have you ever found yourself feeling like you need to speak up to someone about something but unable to find the right words?

When you’re stumped on how to say what needs to be said without pissing off the other person and starting an argument? When it simply seems easier to say nothing at all?

But then sometimes, if we don’t say something, things will only get worse.  Like when you’ve decided to end your marriage or relationship.  Or need to resolve thorny custody or parenting issues with your ex.  It might seem easier to put things off until the vaguely distant “right” time.

As an experienced lawyer and mediator, I’ve found these 4 simple steps from the bestselling book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, to be most effective in strengthening relationships in the midst of difficult conversations.

1.          What’s your end game?

Before you say anything, ask yourself what you really want and what’s at stake.  For example, when ending a relationship, you might want to remain amicable and able to effectively parent your children together.

2.          Find the missing pieces.

Find out as much as you can about the other person’s views.  Let them know how important it is to you to understand their needs and concerns so together you can come up with a solution that works for both of you.

3.          Describe your experience.

If the other person acted in a way that made you uncomfortable, be specific about what those actions were.  For instance, when you told me X, it seemed like Y.  Is that what you meant?

4.          Move to action.

Agree on the solution that will effectively work for each of you.  Confirm who will do what by when and settle on a way to follow up.

These steps can be used just as effectively to handle difficult conversations with employees, supervisors, and colleagues.

To find out how strategic coaching can help you communicate more powerfully, persuasively and effectively in your family and personal relationships, click here or email me directly at  In the meantime, sign up for our blogs or monthly newsletter and you’ll never miss a post.

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