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7 Key Communication Tips

HOW TO HAVE A CONFIDENT CONVERSATION

Article by Kaylene Mathews

Photography by Stocksnap from Pixabay

The ability to have a confident conversation is essential, whether you’re asking for a job, talking with your child, or resolving a conflict.

Confident conversations increase the likelihood of a positive outcome in any discussion.

When you’re confident, you have the power to frame a situation and own the conversation.

It’s the difference that can give you a higher starting salary for a new job or the ability to set healthy boundaries in a relationship.

There is no limit to what you can do when you can communicate confidently.

7 Keys to Having a Confident Conversation

1. Know What You Want.

Before you ever enter a room or pick up the phone to have a conversation, be clear on the outcome you want to achieve.

I had a challenging meeting last week with someone whose miscommunication had fed strong negative emotions among multiple people. When it came time to address the situation, I chose not to rehash events. My immediate goal was to come to a resolution with an agreeable solution for all parties. And that is what we did.

Focusing on the desired outcome kept the conversation on track and free from bunny trail diversions.

2. Know Why You Want It.

If you’re not clear on your “why,” you risk being swept away by someone else’s argument or reasoning. By knowing what you want in advance, you’re able to stand firm. You also have a clear understanding of your thought processes so you can keep a clear mind.

3. Know What You Don’t Want.

There are times when you may not be sure exactly what you want, especially when the situation is complicated.

In those cases, knowing what you don’t want can be just as important as knowing what you do want. Sometimes by the process of elimination, the future reveals itself to us.

4. Find Common Ground.

Finding a mutually beneficial interest is a great place to begin a conversation. Many times people want the same thing, they just don’t agree—yet—on how to achieve the desired outcome.

Make sure you take the time to understand the perspective of who you’re working with to uncover commonalities.

5. Communicate Clearly, But Be Nice About It.

Don’t be afraid to respectfully ask for what you want.

Assume the best of the person you’re communicating with and speak to their best intentions.

You can say the same thing in many ways, so always choose to be kind. You can be nice, respectful and clear all at the same time.

6. Agree on Solutions.

Always, always, always clearly state the solution and make sure everyone agrees. It’s the only way to move forward productively.

Make no assumptions. State it and agree to it, so everyone knows their role and what’s expected.

7. Make It Easy to Act.

How do we make the solution work? What happens next? Don’t assume everyone knows what they are supposed to do.

Make the steps for implementation clear, simple and doable. Remove any obstacles so it’s easy to move forward.

Conclusion

Having a confident conversation is critical to achieving what you want. Be specific and nice, find common ground, and agree on solutions and next steps. Build your confidence in advance by preparing and practicing. The more prepared you are, the more confident your conversations will be. Practice what you will say, and visualize a positive outcome.

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