Imagine you are frustrated with the way a project plan is coming together, it is not what you envisioned. You have a meeting scheduled today with a colleague who is working on the project with you. Instead of thinking through your talking points you start the meeting by sharing your frustration. This can result in making the situation worse AND you risk making an enemy.
Always start with a plan. Think about why you want to talk to them and what you hope to accomplish. Write that down!
Think about why the relationship is important. Start with words that express how you feel. Even if the person is someone who dislike, and you have to work together you can start with – I want to talk to you because we are coworkers and I want the time we spend working together to be the best it can be. Write down your opening line and your taking points. Say those opening and closing lines out loud few times.
Need some ideas for ways to start the conversation? Ask me for my Opening Lines for Difficult Conversations.