Health care workers are painfully aware of disasters that can happen to patients when critical confrontations do not take place in time.
But how can we effectively say crucial things to “certain” powerful people while still showing respect and staying safe?
Managing high stakes conversations well can result in better communication, higher pay, greater respect, longer-lasting relationships, and more. According to my resource, here is a partial list of some basic do’s and don’ts to consider:
- Do learn to use effective and safe conversation skills.
- Don’t withhold your valuable input from the dialogue.
- Do use your new skills to become more courageous and more considerate at the same time.
- Don’t choose emotional responses.
- Do notice that highly effective people become even more so using advanced conversational skills.
- Don’t choose silence.
- Do read books that provide actionable conversation tools – whose concepts are easy to grasp, content is engaging, and the action steps are fun.
- Don’t just go along with the majority to keep the peace if you have a better idea.
- Do maintain total respect for yourself and others.
- Don’t assume your only choices are honesty or kindness.
- Do be honest AND kind at the same time.
- Do encourage a free flow of relevant, honest communication of opinions and sharing of feelings from others.
- Do choose dialogue instead of sarcasm.
- Do learn from those who possess the skills you want to develop in yourself.
- Do practice using tools for talking before stakes become high.
- Do learn to speak persuasively – not aggressively.
- Don’t change focus.
- Do picture how you would behave if you really wanted a certain goal, and behave that way.
- Do begin, and continue, with heart.
- Do make your brain engage and focus – even if adrenalin is flowing.
- Do realize that any conversation can become intimidating, and being prepared helps you respond quicker and more effectively.
- ***Do choose curiosity rather than silence or pushing your opinion. (This one is my favorite!)
- Do express your mutual purpose to promote respect.
- Do keep developing advanced people skills.
Knowing what to do is a good start. However knowing how to do it consistently is the real key. Here is a resource that teaches how to communicate safely and effectively. Because of its easy actionable steps and fun practice techniques, it has helped millions become more successful in their Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition .
Another resource that may be even more relevant to some is: Communication for Nurses: How to Prevent Harmful Events and Promote Patient Safety .
Hope this helps!