Recently I had a coaching conversation with a colleague of mine who was trying to get ready for a difficult conversation. She decided to prepare for a worse-case scenario, and together we talked through options. In the end, she realized that it was her approach that was most critical, so we spent several minutes on how she would start the conversation. (See pages 148-164 in Susan Scott’s book, Fierce Conversations, for specifics on how to approach difficult conversations.)
Today I received an email from her saying that the conversation went well. Knowing how to approach the topic gave her the confidence to get started. Knowing how to handle the worse-case scenario allowed her to relax during the conversation, and she was very pleased with the result.
This situation made me think about how often we focus on the points we want to make rather than the initial approach. What’s been your experience with this?