Are you facing an upcoming difficult conversation, or are you trying to decide if you should have this conversation? Consider the following four steps as preparation before initiating any critical discussion:
Take time to confirm you have the relevant information about the situation.
Make sure you are not acting on hearsay or gossip.
Ask questions and make sure you have factual information. Seek advice if needed.
Do not jump to any conclusions.
Never have a potentially controversial conversation unless you are confident you have the truth.
Remember, things are not always as they appear.
Make sure you have done your due diligence, as this will decrease the likelihood of entering into a conversation that should never have taken place.
Be wise. Remember, you are an ambassador of God in all you do and say.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Take time to bring together, in prayer- the person, the situation, the goal of the communication, and your underlying reason for the conversation.
Consider the person's actions but consider that there may be something about the person's situation that you may not know.
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. (Romans 12:3)
Take time to care and treat the person as you would like to be treated.
Although you may decide the conversation needs to take place, you do have a choice to deliver the information in a caring manner. This, you can control.
Allow yourself to be compassionate.
It is not just about what you have to say; it is also about how you say it and treat the person.
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Communicate first with God, then with the person.
Pray and trust God has given you wisdom and a discerning heart.
Once you know you have the right motivation (care for God's opinion, care for the person, and care for the business/issue), the correct information, the correct understanding, and the right intent, only then is it the time to communicate your concern.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26)
The next time you need to have a difficult conversation, consider preparing yourself by going through these four steps. You are then more likely to say the right thing, to the right person, at the right time, in the right way.
May God bless you as you deal with difficult conversations with a pure heart. Have a wonderful week.
Bonny, Christian Women at Work