We Need To Talk!
When you hear the words, “We need to talk”, what goes through your mind?
“Oh $@#! ?” “What did I do wrong?” “Am I going to be fired/lose this client?”
What if, instead of hearing something’s wrong and needs to be fixed, we hear: something isn’t working well and is calling for a change in order for us to meet our mutual goals.
Most of us hear “We need to talk” as the precursor to conflict. It makes us nervous, uncomfortable and sets us up to win or lose. We try to avoid it at all cost. We instantly find ourselves in fight or flight mode.
But what if “we need to talk” meant merely… “I’d like to engage in a dialog with you.” What if, instead of hearing it as a foreboding of something bad or wrong, you heard it as an invitation to hear and be heard?
What if it was an opportunity to build something? What if you assume nothing is inherently ‘wrong’ but instead, something simply isn’t working well and, through conversation, you and the other person can come to an understanding of what’s happening and arrive at a mutually satisfying alternative?
Instead of your instinct being to defend or run away, you might consider it as an invitation to come together to strengthen your relationship and co-create a better future.
The next time you are faced with a “We need to talk moment”, regardless of whether you are the initiator or the invitee, consider it an opportunity to:
- connect around what’s important to you both
- hear another’s ideas, thoughts, feelings, and opinions
- learn something new
- “engage with” rather than “talk at” each other
- hold each other as having an equal contribution in the situation and the conversation
- raise concerns and share ideas
- create a mutually satisfying outcome that is better than either of you could create separately
- develop plans of action to resolve problems, fulfill your joint intentions, and manifest your visions for the future
When you can look at life situations from a framework of what’s working and not working vs. what’s right or wrong, fixed or broken and you see others as co-creators for good, something amazing happens. You step into teamwork and partnership. From this place, good work gets done and solid relationships are formed.