Hard Conversations

Most people don't feel like they're very good in hard conversations. I'm certainly in that camp. Hard conversations are hard because they usually deal with sensitive subjects at inopportune times. There isn't ever a good time to tell someone they're fired, or that they need to deal with a sin issue.

Other times, the opportunities for hard conversations blind-side us when we are not prepared. It would be hard to count how many times I've skipped an easy opportunity to share the Gospel with someone because the opportunity came when I wasn't expecting it and didn't feel prepared.

Hard conversations are hard but think back about the people in your life who have made the greatest impact. They are the people who were willing to have the conversations with you that challenged you, confronted you, or inspired you, weren't they? As uncomfortable as those conversations were for you and for them, because they were willing to say the hard stuff in a loving way you perceived that they cared for you.

We instinctively understand that when people speak hard Truth in a loving way, they put the relationship and their reputation on the line because they care for us that much.

The equal and opposite truth is this: When you speak only what people want to hear, you will ultimately not be heard. People understand when you really don't care enough about them to put yourself at risk, and they won't trust you. Hard conversations are essential.

I'm still not great at hard conversations, but I've taken to asking myself a question that is helping me make progress. In every conversation, regardless of the circumstances, I'm trying to ask myself: "If I really cared about this person, how would this conversation be different."
You'll be amazed how many conversations are transformed on that question alone.