Machen MacDonald: Have the conversation |

Machen MacDonald: Have the conversation

Machen MacDonald

Is there an important conversation you know you need to have and you have been putting it off? It’s no wonder. It might hurt and we might hurt the other person. Who wants to experience that? Be courageous and have that conversation. Ultimately, you will be glad you did, and you’ll be better off for having had it.

To move from fear of having the conversation to courageousness in actually engaging in it can be a big leap.

So often, we’ll do just about anything to avoid having those tough, emotionally contorting conversations. We imagine it will be tough, messy or awkward. It may be the one you know you need to have at work, or the one with your spouse or kids. It might be one with a client or perhaps even one with yourself.

To engage in these imagined twisting conversations takes tremendous courage. Courage takes vulnerability. Being vulnerable can be scary as all get out. Many people will associate being vulnerable with being weak. On the contrary, being vulnerable is the ultimate stand of power. There is no mask to hide behind. No shield, no protection. No passive aggressive games to assist in the orchestration or manipulation of perpetuating the drama and chaos. What can be more courageous than that?

Being vulnerable and courageous is being impeccable with your word. It is saying what you mean and meaning what you say. It’s also about taking responsibility for your own actions and behavior.

Is there a huge risk to doing that? Sure. Is there a chance of not being accepted for who you really are when you speak your truth? You bet there is. And you will find the reward far outweighs the risk.

There are two reasons why we avoid having the conversation. One, we are convinced we will feel like we are out of control in not knowing what to say or getting triggered and over reacting. Second, we believe we will not get what we want or need.

Endeavor to remember that you can get what you want. You both can. The first part is to be very clear about what you actually want before you engage. Most people never get clear and they go for the wrong thing. Next, show the other person how they can help you get what you want. Let them know what getting what you want look like. Finally, seek to learn what the other person is wanting. Help them get clear. You will most likely find that you can both get what you want by being clear about what it is.

When we fear we will not get what we want, we tend to go defensive and we are off chasing rabbits. i.e., focusing on what we don’t want rather than what we do want. Keep the focus on what you want.

Here is a way to take the L.E.A.P. from fear to courage in having the that critical conversation:

Learn to clearly communicate what you really want. Be clear about what you want or need and then ask for it unapologetically. Bridle the temptation to comply with what you don’t want or doesn’t work for you just to please or appease others. Nobody ever became noble or great by being a people pleaser.

Elegantly listen to what the other person is wanting and help them get clear. Let others speak and hear not an attack but rather a request. Practice not taking things personally and seek how to help others get what they want. You will find your needs tend to get met along the way of doing so.

Access your resourcefulness. Remember you both can get what you want and often it’s the same thing. Be patient.

Possibilities are all around; you just need to remain open and look for them. Remember, it’s not over until it’s over. What’s true today may not be so tomorrow. People change their mind from hearing new information, perspectives and points of view. Their minds may need to season a bit before it comes around. Go for progress rather than just a win and be sure to check back in.

This week take a L.E.A.P. or two and notice where you land. Speak your truth and drop the drama. Remain open to getting what you want and detach from the path you think is the only way to get there. Notice the new paths that reveal themselves and enjoy the journey.

Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!

#1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000

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