Difficult conversations: 5 tips to turn an argument into a constructive dialogue

Difficult conversations: 5 tips to turn an argument into a constructive dialogue

Some topics are tough to handle. That's why the general rule is to stay away from discussing religion and politics. But sometimes you may get involved in a difficult conversation: be it related to work or life. 

May be the person in front of you is defending the undefendable, and you feel like keeping quiet is not an option. Here are 5 tips to turn a difficult converstaion into a constructive debate.

1. Listen.

This is the first thing you must do. Don't try to stop the person from talking or try to convince them of anything by interrupting them. As in martial arts, you must not contradict the force but work with it. Let the person speak enough to express all their arguments, but above all, their state of mind. Try to undesrtand why they are so upset.

Turn an argument into a dialogue

2. Show that you have heard them

Try to understand their mood, not their arguments. The important thing is that you share how he or she is feeling even if you don't agree with what they says. If you say things like "I understand what you're going through..." or "I understand your anger" you create empathy and are more likely to be heard. It may be tempting to yell and attack, but it won't get your point across. 

Learn to listen, and you will have a more constructive conversation

 3. Describe your feelings.

You have a 99% chance of being heard now that you've given them attention. After they stop speaking, describe your point of view, calmly and giving clear examples. And whatever happens, don't raise your voice.

Raising your voice won't get your point across

 4. Give your opinion, but don't push it. 

Speaking your mind gently and respecting how the other person feels is one way to round out a difficult discussion. You cannot hope to change their thinking. But you can aspire to have a calm conversation and may be motivate a positive change or at least a willingless to learn more. 

Learn how to handle a difficult conversation

 5. Don't confront.

This is a fundamental point throughout the conversation. Try in every way possible to avoid confrontation. If you feel that your interlocutor's speech is becoming more aggressive, the best thing you can do is wait for the bad mood to subside. A point is not  being right but turning an argument into a dialogue and hopefully reaching an agreement. 

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