Crucial Conversations: Learning How to Have Them when You're Still in SchoolNovember 10, 2016, 09:58 AM
Life is about learning, and, undoubtedly, you have quite a few lessons to learn in the coming years that will go well beyond what your textbooks can teach you. While you're going to have plenty of good times in college, you're also probably going to face your fair share of difficulties. Although stress and anxiety is a normal part of life, we're not all equipped to know how to deal with them early on.
College is a great place to learn how to have the crucial conversation skills you'll need for the rest of your life. Whether you're struggling with parent, boss, roommate, teacher, peer, or teammate situations, keep these guidelines in mind:
1. Know what you want to accomplish. It's important to have an ultimate goal in mind so you can facilitate a path toward successful compromise without letting the conversation go astray. Do you want a raise? Do you want more equity in the household chores? Know what you want to achieve before the conversation begins.
2. Look at yourself. As an adult, it's important to learn how to look in the mirror before going to battle. How have you contributed to the situation? What could you do differently? As humans, we're often contributors to our own conflicts. Learn how to own your piece of the disagreement so you can offer suggestions that will ease the other party.
3. Look at the situation. Things aren't always as they seem. Successful crucial conversations come from a point of understanding. Was the other person trying to disrespect you, or was it merely a misunderstanding? Are there rules that could be clearly spelled out that could eliminate further stresses in the future?
4. Ask for Their Viewpoint. No crucial conversation is a one-way street. You need to gain the perspective of the other person in order to have a fluid conversation. Don't just ask questions and wait for your turn to talk; be open to what the other person is saying. More often than not, you'll learn a lot!
5. Meet in the Middle. With everything out on the table, open the lines of communication up for negotiation. Facilitate feedback and look for solutions that would benefit all parties. Can you agree on a chore schedule? Would it be helpful if you came to office hours? Compromise is essential inside and out of the classroom setting.
How did you learn to have crucial conversations? Please share your stories in the comments or at our Facebook page!