Today I received a phone call from a friend asking for my help with a difficult conversation. She credited me with good people skills. I really appreciate that complement. I thought this would be a good topic to share with other entrepreneurs and get their take on people skills.
As an entrepreneur, I frequently have to have difficult conversations. I have found the best way to take the difficulty out of the conversation is to “seek first to understand.” I am an avid reader, and one of my favorite authors is Stephen Covey. I had the great fortune of meeting him in person during my days working with Comcast. I believe it was Stephen Covey who made this phrase part of my daily speech. Just yesterday I saw a vanity license plate that read “seek2understand. ”
This was the essence of my advice to my friend. She had a business situation where a vendor that she is using made a comment that she took as an insult. She did not know how to approach the person or if she should. I suggested that she should approach the vendor. I suggested she approach them privately. I also asked her if she knew for sure that he meant to insult her. She could not answer yes. I suggested that she go with the mindset of wanting to understand what he meant. Perhaps she misunderstood his comment completely.If she did if she approached the situation as wanting to understand.
So fellow entrepreneurs how do you handle difficult conversations? Share your advice here!