Part 3 of 4
With the fears lingering in the air, I asked students their greatest hopes going into their difficult conversations. Hope can calm fear. Their hopes were simple and straightforward, neither grandiose nor insignificant:
- I hoped the conversation would have a positive ripple effect in the relationship.
- I wanted the conversation to be a transition to a stronger relationship with that person in my life.
- I really hoped I’d do it as well as I wanted to!
- I hoped that it would shore me up for other whopper difficult conversations I’ve been avoiding.
Given those hopes, how did you manage your fears, I asked. Their answers are great examples of how we motivate ourselves to step forward:
- I realized there may never be a perfect time for this conversation.
- I prepared myself carefully in advance, but didn’t make that preparation a blueprint for what should happen in the conversation.
- A real sense of responsibility loomed over my head. I just had to do it.
- It was a crisis. I couldn’t function with any of the other alternatives.
- I told myself, “This is business.” I talked myself into it so that I could get to other work that needed to be done.
And finally, with you, my readers and coaching clients in mind, I asked my grad students what they would tell someone else about the value of stepping up to the important conversations in our lives. I’ll tell you soon what graceful wisdom they had to share.