You may be a really good communicator, but if you use “but” in the way I just did in this sentence, think again. Doing so just negated the positive sentiment I tried to convey in the first half of that message. Even when you disagree with someone, there is a simple communication strategy you need to start using, to improve the way you engage in the most difficult conversations.
Listening is not always easy. These days, in particular, we are surrounded by constant noise, controversy and chaos. The most successful people on our planet are skilled at listening. As I mentioned in a previous article, my grandmother once said there’s a reason the words, “listen” and “silent” have the same letters. To be a good listener, we need to first learn how to be silent.
Even the best conflict engagement professionals can be blindsided by an occasional toxic exchange. Despite how fantastic a day may start, a few harsh words can catch us off-guard, leaving us feeling defensive, angry or belittled. You can keep difficult people from bringing you down with them and poisoning your well. There are surprisingly effective strategies for bouncing back and preventing conflicts from getting the best of you.
I’ll walk you through an example from my own experience.