Learning to respond to emotionally charged conversations or misunderstandings in the workplace takes practice, patience and perspective. The key is to balance your assertiveness with constraint so you can walk away feeling good about yourself , while not leaving the other party feeling devastated.
Ask yourself the following questions before blurting out an emotional reaction during a challenging conversation. You just might gain a new perspective.
- What’s the long term impact if you say everything you want to say?
- What consequence or result will occur moments after your conversation if you do respond emotionally?
- Will the result last more that those few moments?
- What about the impact in a few hours, days, months or years from now?
- Will this conversation matter at all or will it change the course of a relationship for better or worse?
If you ask yourself these questions before blundering ahead, you’ll discover that some conversations won’t need to happen at all, but don’t make that an excuse for not having the ones that do need to happen.
Thinking about the long term impact allows you to put things into perspective. Perspective goes a long way towards guiding your tone and words, and perhaps changing your intention from hurtful to respectful.
A small shift in your behavior now can go a long way into the future…in a good way.
What’s your thoughts? You can find more information on this topic in my book, Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up. Get it at Amazon.com today.