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.
- They need someone to simply listen.
- They need someone who they can “try out an idea” on.
- They need someone to not weigh in.
- 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.