All relationships are built on conversations – business or personal. You can make or break those relationships with the words you use and your ability to communicate effectively. At Family Reunion 2016 in New Orleans, La., KW MAPS Coach Debbie Frapp showed attendees how they can communicate with clarity and make relationships, not break them.
The Four Objectives of a Successful Conversation
Frapp explained that a fierce conversation is one in which you come out from behind yourself into the conversation and make it real. So what does that look like? Frapp answered this question with the four objectives in a successful conversation.
Interrogate Reality – Everyone has their own reality, which constantly changes with their experiences. One person’s reality will never be the same as the next person’s, so it is important to go into a conversation with curiosity rather than a need to be right.
Provoke Learning – The Six Personal Perspectives from The Millionaire Real Estate Agent state that being learning based is one of the key elements of success. A fierce conversation is the same – you want to provoke learning with each other. Learn to see the other person’s perspective and share yours.
Tackle the Tough Challenges – To illustrate this objective, Frapp shared an excerpt from KW MAPS Coaching CEO Dianna Kokoszka’s BOLD journal: “Take people wherever they never have been. Leaders are not always the first to see the need for change and they are the first to act. Courage is not the absence of fear. If you wait until fear is gone, you will never move forward.”
Enrich the Relationship – When you are authentic and speak to the heart of the matter, you will develop a mutual respect with the person you are having a conversation with because they will level with you.
Troubleshooting Your Conversations
Frapp stressed that it’s important to understand how you are showing up in a conversation. If you are working with a team, collaboration and alignment are imperative to successful communication. Without them, several problems can occur:
Noninclusion – If you are making a lot of command control decisions, you will end up with resentful compliance.
Illusion of Inclusion – When you pretend to include others in your decision, you will end up with the same effect as noninclusion with the added insult of not being heard.
The Loudest Get Heard – External processors are heard from more often in conversations because they are more likely to speak up. Internal processors may not be as outspoken, yet they have great ideas too. Provide a safe place so everybody feels heard.
Start a Difficult Conversation Today
We have all experienced tough conversations in our businesses or relationships that fail. As a result, we may have all lost relationships, money or time that we cannot get back. What you talk about and how you talk about it could be the very reasons these conversations fail. Learning to communicate with clarity is the key, and Frapp did make it clear to the audience that “it’s not a destination, it’s definitely a journey.”
So how do you have those difficult conversations? What do those conversations look like? In six steps, Frapp was able to outline what she dubbed “confrontations on-the-fly” and an appropriate way to approach a difficult conversation:
Name the issue. I want to have a conversation with you about …
Give an example. Be prepared - name a real-life example.
Describe an emotion. People need to understand the effect they are having on you.
Why is this important? What’s at stake to gain or lose? What is the real issue?
Resolve the issue. Express your desire to grow and move forward.
Invite them to respond. Talk with me about the situation.
When you think of Fierce Conversations, think passion, authenticity and collaboration. Remember that you are expanding and enriching your relationships with your colleagues, friends and family.