“I want strategies to use when I disagree with someone and find myself in conflict with them. How can I have drama-free conversations?” Sound familiar?
This is by far the most popular question we get asked. Therein lies what we call ‘the million-dollar question’. How do we have an authentic exchange of thoughts and feelings, one that promotes respectful, productive dialogue and leads us to a place of calmness, confidence, and abundance—even in high-stakes situations?
Whether it is a conversation with your boss, colleague, best friend, partner, parent or child – the answer is the same: The Power of Curiosity method you have been learning throughout this blog. Without the Curiosity Skills, even the most respectful conversations can become telling, blaming, and shaming—which leads to conflict.
Curiosity allows you to have respectful conversations that don’t lead to conflict: necessary conversations that have been too easy to ignore (addressing the elephant in the room); productive conversations that can become stressful and emotional in the moment; and challenging conversations where you are invested in the outcome.
Don’t believe us? Take a look. This is a conversation without curiosity:
*Remember, conflict doesn’t begin with the negative emotional outburst, it begins at the level of our values.
Look what happens when you become curious:
See the difference?
Every time you enter into a conversation, you always have choices. You choose how you are going to listen, you choose how deeply you want to understand, and when the going gets tough, you choose whether you want to erupt/retreat into silence or find a place of calm and curiosity to discover new possibilities. Curiosity is your most powerful tool—a tool you can use in any conversation to better understand what has been said, why it has been said, what is going on for the other person, and what is going on for yourself.
When emotions run high, we know it takes work to remain calm and curious. Our default is to become defensive, judgmental, blaming, and shaming (internally and/or externally) without ever intending to do so. It just happens. We also know the key to challenging conversations and dealing with conflict is curiosity. It helps you stay calm, clear, understanding, and be open to new opportunities.
1. Looking at the diagrams above, which one are you currently using in conversations? How is it working for you?
2. If you were to look at curiosity as an investment, what would be the cost to incorporate curiosity into your life (your leadership, your family, your relationships)? What would be the cost if you didn’t?
Life is full enough without the added pressure of having unwanted, stress-inducing, dramatic conversations. So don’t save the drama for your mama, you now have the tools for every conversation to be curious and conflict free.