When I am facing a tough conversation, I prepare. I think about what I want to accomplish, my key points and rationale for the position. Though I do try to anticipate the other person’s likely reaction, I appreciate Mary Jo Asmus’ reminder to focus on the other person with compassion.

She advises remembering that the person with whom you’re in conflict is a complicated human being who may not be aware of the impact of their actions. The notion of breathing in compassion helps, too. It’s a great reminder to slow down and breathe.

A friend counsels me to remember that every single person in the world is someone’s child. Focusing on that reality immediately takes me to an emotional space of care and empathy. This mindset means I will share my perspective candidly and directly, but I also make sure I’m respectful and compassionate.

“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” Yehuda Berg


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Photo from Dollar Photo Club.