So you are convinced that you want to employ your “conversation lenses” . Great! Read on ……
ON YOUR MARK! Before engaging in a conversation – especially a challenging one – do a self-prep to ‘position your position’. If you need help with this, use the Lions Share, LLC Self-Prep Worksheet for Challenging Conversations. Remember, this is only for you. It is an exercise that produces a visual of your logical and emotional insides, before embarking on a discussion. That done, you are going into the discussion having considered all angles and outcomes.
GET SET! The next step is to put on their ‘conversation lenses’ for the duration of the discussion. Your self-prep worksheet answers can assist here. Next, offer them your conversation lenses by sharing your vantage point and what you see from there. This swap makes it infinitely apparent (& easy!) for each side to understand, that the other’s reactions are a reflection of them not us. The key is to make the swap before the discussion gets amped up. Swapping “conversation lenses” provides us with an oft-critical edge to negotiate the most challenging of arguments.
GO! Once both parties fully realize that the other’s behavior is a reflection of what is going on inside them, reactions get realistic, responses become objective and the solution comes into focus. Typically, asking someone to help you understand where they are coming from, works like a charm and most people will share the reasons behind their approach. Simply, pretending to know why they are reacting a certain way (or worse – believing that you know it!) can derail the conversation moving the real issue either on the back burner or on a tangent away from the goal. On the other hand, exchanging ‘conversation lenses’ can unearth information you (to both your delightful surprises) might be able to use as a stepping- stone to a solid resolution.
BONUS – IT’S NOT THEM, IT’S YOU! For those of us that might think all this is not worth the effort, here is a fundamental truth – you do this for you, not them. Doing this helps you position yourself in the objective corner and prevents you from taking things personally, thus avoiding the figurative spoke-in-the-wheel of forward momentum. So let us all strive to use each other’s ‘conversation lenses’ and be pleasantly surprised to see how, even blindingly difficult conversations can become easy to navigate.
Put on your #conversationlenses and hit cruise control – you are in the driver’s seat.