The results of our conversations often have a telling impact on the quality of our lives. When stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions start to run strong, casual conversations assume a crucial quality. The consequences of fouling it up include blighted careers, relationships, and health. On a different note, when we get it right, we improve the quality of our decisions and our problem-solving abilities. Upshot to, Our relationships thrive. Forward with, the importance of the ideas behind how to have a constructive conversation, stands on these advantages.
How to have a constructive conversation unfolds below.
1. Make It Safe For Everyone To Express Openly And Freely Their Opinions, Feelings, And Theories
When we enter a conversation, we do so with our opinions, feelings, theories, and experiences about the topic at hand. All these notions form our personal pool of meaning. This pool influences our actions. Since we don’t share the same pool, our opinions often differ from those of others. In view of this, make it safe for everyone to add their meaning to the shared pool, even if their ideas contradict yours. As the pool of shared meaning grows, all involved learns more accurate information, and make better choices and decisions.
2. Ask Yourself What You Really Want
Look at yourself like an outsider. Ask yourself, “what do I really want for myself?” What do I really want for others?” “What do I really want for the relationship?” Furthermore, ask yourself, “How would I behave in order to make my preferred desires or outcomes a reality? Asking ourselves these questions helps us to discover what we truly want. The answers motivate us to remain steady on or return ourselves to our original purpose for entering the conversation.
3. Kick The Desire To Win
In a conversation, the desire to win frustrates the exchange of ideas and meaning, the true hallmark of a productive conversation. It corrodes the dialogue and leaves us with poor outcomes. To buttress with, we often quibble over details and switch to a purpose that sabotages our original goal of resolving a problem, when our opinions get challenged. For good, when we set aside the desire to win, we clear our minds to see that we are pushing hard, making the argument stronger than we actually believe, to win. As we kick the desire to win, we make it easier for others to express freely their opinions. In consequence, we enjoy better outcomes. In truth, better conversation outcomes reveal that we have taken to the ideas at the core of how to have a constructive conversation.
4. Avoid Seeking Revenge
Sometimes, as our anger and frustration increases because of perceived challenges in a conversation, we move from wanting to win the point, to wanting to harm the other. This attitude completely thwarts our goal of problem-solving.
5. Don’t Choose Personal Safety Over Dialogue
For good, do not go to silence, to avoid uncomfortable, immediate conflict. Instead, rise and contribute to the pool of meaning. Through this, you stimulate the flow of ideas in between, and improve the odds for a favourable outcome.
6. Discard The Belief That You Are Caught Between Two Distasteful Options
Keep from justifying a sordid behaviour by believing that you are caught between two distasteful options. This plays out when we believe that we can be honest and attack our spouse, or we can be kind and withhold the truth. It is the worst of “either or” thinking. Of a fact, the aforementioned options are not the only two options available. There is a third option that fosters a healthy, honest, respectable, candid expression of our opinions. In this option, there will not be any occasion to mouth the expressions: “I’m sorry, but I just had to destroy the guy’s self-image,” “it wasn’t pretty but it was the right thing to do.” Our attacking behaviours keep us from thinking creatively to get to a productive conversation.
To move forward from, ask yourself an “and” question that motivates you to search for more creative options than silence and violence. “How can I have a candid conversation with my wife about being more dependable and avoid creating bad feelings or wasting our time?” “Is there a way to tell my peers my real concern and not insult or offend them?” The answer is yes, there is.
How to have a constructive conversation draws on ideas that prime us to keep focused on our conversational goals, in spite of temptations to derail. Again, they stimulate us to keep down unhealthy behaviours and prop up the belief that dialogue or exchange of ideas, is always an option, no matter the circumstance.