From time to time we’ve all had to have a conversation we’d rather not have. Maybe it is talking to a direct report about their lack of performance, or we have a difference of opinion with a colleague, or we have to deliver some bad news. It is inevitable these conversations produce anxiety. You worry that the conversation may not go as smoothly as you’d like. You may not reach agreement. Feelings may get hurt. Yes, those things could happen.
In preparing for the conversation try focusing on what could go right, instead of what could go wrong. Picture in your mind’s eye the conversation going smoothly, the issue is resolved to both party’s satisfaction, each person remains calm, you will remain friends. As author Robin Sharma reminds us – What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.
Next time you have to have one of those conversations, take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side list all the things that can go wrong on the other list all the things that can go right. Now tear the sheet in half and throw away the list of things that could go wrong. Keep the list of what can go right as your focal point.