Having Difficult Conversations When it is Personal


As a leader, having difficult conversations is part of the job.  I not only have had too many of them to count, but have coached many on how to have them.  Although, it is never easy, it is not something I shy away from.  I believe that it if the intention is to be transparent and find a solution to the problem, it makes having the conversation easier.  The type of difficult conversation that I tend to have as a leader is mostly about performance.

There are however, those difficult conversations that are not with someone you work with.  Having difficult conversations when it is personal is a whole other ball game for me.  My immediate instinct is to “save” the person from their problems.  To somehow find a solution.  Because it is personal, my emotional attachment is strong and it has sometimes clouded my judgement.

I have to force myself to remember:

[bctt tweet=”“It is not always about having the right words to say, it is about getting the other person to see it themselves”.”]

As a leader, having difficult conversations is mostly about getting the other person to see the problem and guiding that person to find a solution to the problem.

When having a difficult conversation with a friend or family member, the goal should be the same.  Sometimes they just need you to listen and are not looking for you to “fix it”.  Of course, it depends on the nature of the conversation.

As entrepreneurs or leaders, we use strategies or our experiences to properly communicate with our teams.   We make a conscious effort to keep our emotional intelligence high.  When it becomes personal, sometimes we forget about everything and break every rule we coach others “never” to break.

I am not saying to treat the members of your personal circle as an employee, far from it.  However, what we all need to sometimes remember is how important it is to take that step back.  Remember what you want to accomplish during this conversation and keep that top of mind.  Remember the steps you take to make difficult conversations easier and apply it to your personal life.

Do you find it difficult to have a difficult conversation when it’s personal?