For me, the difference between having a good difficult conversation as opposed to a bad difficult conversation resolves around my ability to Detach when required.

When I talk to people who are upset or angry about something a number of things happen.

  1. They need someone to simply listen.
  2. They need someone who they can “try out an idea” on.
  3. They need someone to not weigh in.
  4. They need someone to ask relevant questions.

I find I am only ever really able to do these things affectively if I detach. This is especially true when they are directing their frustrations directly at me.

By temporarily remove myself from the relationship and instead turn myself into a compassionate sounding board I am able to learn more.