A month ago, I wrote a blog on how to make harder conversations easier by using softer language. The more I talk about this topic, the more interested people become. Everyone is avoiding a conversation with someone, whether it relates to a small or really big topic. Most of these folks are avoiding these conversations as they are afraid that things will go down-hill as soon as they open their mouths. And then, where do I go?
Time and time again I use soft language to have hard conversations with clients, colleagues, and yes, even family members. And, time and time again, the conversations went better as I went in softer. Here are some softer word suggestions you can use to make hard conversations easier.
- Perhaps… May be… Potentially… More likely… Possibly… Really like hearing… Another idea may be… Have you thought about…
- What about… Another way to think about it… Might… Probably… Virtually… Another thought might be…
If you want to offer a different opinion and you start with “Perhaps another way to think about it might be…,” you are more likely to ensure your colleague is listening than starting with “And another idea is…”
Try it! You will become a master of managing hard conversations before you know it.