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Facing the challenging conversation at Christmas

We all have times when we need to step into a conversation that we’d rather avoid, be it at work or at home. Christmas time and the holidays, especially, can be a time when emotions run high and we're challenged to engage in more difficult dialogue with loved ones.


How do you show up in these conversations? Do you tackle them head on or do you find yourself going with the flow to keep the peace, and later regret not being true to yourself? 


Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations, suggests some questions to ask yourself before engaging (or avoiding) those difficult conversations. Here's what she says:


  • What are my goals for this conversation?

  • How will my view of this differ from the person I’m engaging with? 

  • How often do I find myself -just to be polite-saying things I don’t mean?

  • How often have I been in conversation where the real issues were not being discussed? What issues are we avoiding?

  • If I were guaranteed honest responses to any three questions, whom would I question and what would I ask?

  • What has been the cost of me not having the conversation I so deeply desire?

  • When was the last time I said what I really thought and felt?

  • What am I pretending not to know?

  • If I were able to have the conversion that might make the difference, what would I say and when?


These questions help you build awareness as to how you show up with colleagues, partners, friends and family members. No one enjoys conflicting with each other, but being open, honest, respectful and true to yourself brings you closer to inner peace.


If you're readying yourself for some challenging conversations, reflect on these questions so you can embrace them with the authenticity you deserve.


Conflict and challenging conversations is complex, and is an area that comes up a lot within the coaching space. It is helpful to reflect on your own behaviours, and what beliefs or assumptions lie beneath those behaviours. If this is something you'd like to work on next year, get in touch to discuss.



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