Start With The End In Mind

I often get asked how to handle a variety of different situations and how to have some tough conversations. I'll need to ask you several questions first but one of my biggest will be "What is your end goal? What do you hope will be the outcome of this interaction? What's the best case scenario?"

Once you have a clear vision of where you are going, the strategies or details start to fall into place. 

Human interaction is complex. You can get weighed down or overwhelmed by all the possibilities. You can feel pure frustration, anger or resentment because others don't seem to be on the same page with you.

If you start with the end in mind then you can move on to the next step - start to think about your particular audience. What is it that they need? What would "success" be for them in this interaction? What questions or information do I need to gather to really understand their perspective on what is happening here.

And finally you can seek the "win, win or walk away" approach were everyone feels heard and valued and that they got what was most important to them. If everyone feels that they "won" in this interaction then the ripple effect that allows for future positive, meaningful interactions is set forth for even the toughest of topics.

Relationships are key. Your relationship with yourself is the most important. If you know you and you know what you really want then you can get on with productively achieving it. Getting bogged down by the details of what to say and not say, how to say it, when to say it and so forth can cost you much time and energy and still not might not end with you walking away with a satisfied feeling.

Get clear on what you want to get out of this interaction and then brainstorm on what would actually help achieve it - rather than what you think "should" play out. Accept that your expectations are subjective and your sense of fairness is what would seem fair to you. Doesn't make it true to your partner in communication.

Ask yourself, "if I say/do this, will it get me closer to my desired end goal?" Make all decisions based on that.

And save yourself time and energy all while building more solid relationships with yourself and with others.