Being the Force of Reason in a Chaotic Exchange
You will have noticed by now how hard it is for people to talk without it turning into an argument or even a fight. This can be seen on our social media posts, as well as when we meet for some occasions. These issues are best seen when we engage in conversations. Words have always carried a lot of significance, now more than ever.
This has made it hard to have easier conversations. There are more of us shying away from holding a conversation. But there are times when it is unavoidable. We need to also keep in mind that conversations can be wonderful human interactions. This should be what guides us as we learn more about how to steer conversations even when they start to become difficult.
It is important that we all focused on eliminating the idea that we have to take an extreme position in each discussion. You can turn any topic into a potentially polarizing debate. You need to fight the urge to take a side. Alternatively, you can ask the other party to also refrain from making the situation worse. This may not be so easy, but there are ways you can put in place to ensure success.
You need to learn to take a breath before speaking. Keep practicing this each time you find yourself in a conversation that has the potential to escalate. You also need to give the other party time to finish stating their points. Ask if they are done before responding. Breathing helps you take away the bite in your words, and keeps your presentation objective.
You also need to ask more questions. Whoever is asked the questions will feel great as a reference point, and will also produce more meaningful ideas. It will also give you time to regroup. The other person also gets to think beyond what they currently were. This way, both of you have something substantial to talk about, and more meaningful conclusions to reach at the end of it. You will also notice that there are fewer emotions as you keep talking. You can ask questions that get them to explain their point further, or to give illustrations of what they are saying. These questions show your genuine interest to learn more and come across as not having emotions.
You need to conclude the conversation in agreement then. Arguments are not the best way to end such conversations. Difficult conversations can, however, be steered towards a more agreeable conclusion. The best way to do this is to list all the things you agree on, and focus on those.
The tips shared here are best executed when you are actively listening to what is being said, and remain present.
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