We all need to have difficult conversations sometimes. The way you start these conversations will affect the way they go.
There are two ways to start a conversation:
1) A harsh start-up:
A harsh start-up is when you go straight in with a verbal attack: “You never think about me!”
The other person is likely to be defensive and you won’t get the support you need.
2) A soft start-up:
A soft start-up is a way of asking for something you want without blaming the other person: “I’m worried about how we’re going to get everything done.”
This makes it easier for the other person to listen, so you can sort things out together.
How to practice a soft start-up
Instead of saying: “You never help out! I have to do everything by myself!”
Try saying: “I’m feeling stressed out. I’d really like some help.”
It’s the same thing, but it’s more likely to get you the help you need.
So, before you start a difficult conversation, ask yourself if there’s a better, softer way to start.