Key Terminology

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Let's review some key terminology relating to difficult conversations and methods for approaching them:

  • Combat Mentality. A common workplace pitfall in which a conversation between people who hold differing opinions escalates into a zero-sum, “winners and losers” situation.

  • Personal Temperature. A term for reflection during self-assessment. A person gauges their own frame of mind and how their mood may impact a difficult conversation.

  • Nonviolent Communication. A method of communication that can de-escalate conflict. The speaker observes facts, states feelings, uncovers desires, and makes requests.

  • Emotional Intelligence. Understanding the role that emotions play in difficult conversations. Recognize the feelings that are present, use emotions to facilitate thinking, understand the cause and outcomes of these feelings, and manage emotions to create better outcomes.

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