Recently I attended a communication skills refresher course with a few of my Monkey colleagues, with a focus on challenging conversations and conflicts and how to manage them effectively. The course itself can be challenging as you venture into territory which is typically out of one’s comfort zone and you may be interacting on a very personal level with people you have not met before. The exercises can be strenuous, much like going for a work-out at the gym, that’s why I like to refer to these refreshers as “conversational gym”. They’re not easy but you feel better afterwards for doing it.
The tool-set you are given to help your way through the topics of discussion is a “cube” of four components, Observe, Think, Feel and Want. The key is to make sure you understand your personal grasp on these four components so that you can have an authentic and clear conversation with the other party involved. This helps to remove the emotions and stories that create noise in difficult conversations. As long as vulnerability and fear are no longer factors, the issue can be resolved much easier and effectively.
It’s a very gratifying process but tiring – much like a workout at the gym.