What makes a conversation difficult? Usually it is the fear of consequences.
If we avoid the conversation, we feel taken advantage of, but we also rob the other person the opportunity to improve things.
If we confront, we fear it will get worse. Either we’ll get hurt or the other party will.
Tact is not the answer to difficult conversations. It won’t make conversations more intimate. Be diplomatic or try to stay positive are equally poor solutions.
The goal is to shift the focus from delivering messages to having a learning conversation.
This change is challenging and requires practice.
The methods in the book are not panacea. Some situations are beyond hope. But they tend to be rare.
Eliminating fear and anxiety is unrealistic. The goal is to reduce them. Don’t aim for perfection. Aim for better.