All of us at some stage will face those difficult conversations, the discussions that we would rather avoid than deal with. It is so easy to blame others and not take ownership for our own contribution when dealing with these difficult situations or with people we find challenging. Stephen Covey said that “while we cannot control what happens to us, we can control our thoughts and reactions to what’s happening to us”. We often attribute the cause of a problem to the behaviours of others, such as “he or she made me feel really angry”. The key here is that we cannot control another person’s behaviour, but we can choose how we respond and how we react.
If we want to be more effective in our communication in the workplace or in our personal lives we need to take responsibility for our communication. We can choose to respond rather than react. Stephen Covey defines reasonable as “response able”. We have the ability to respond to what happens to us in a way that we choose. We are responsible. So the next time you face a difficult conversation, don’t play the blame game, rather take responsibility and be responsible for how you respond.