In the blog post today, Ingredients of Interpersonal Courage, all the ingredients create an environment in which you are more likely to have a positive and productive conversation. Today's practice will focus on creating an environment that fosters healthy discourse.
To start, we'll review AEIOU:
First, get agreement.
Second, think of and express the positive end you have in mind.
Third, tell why the conversation is important to you.
Fourth, express any obstacles that might be getting in your way so that you are able to be present during the conversation.
Fifth, tell the other what you would like from him or her and then, what you will do. (An example might be, I would like you to hear me out and then I would like you to respond.)
After you've set up the conversation with AEIOU, then using all of your awareness and skill at staying true to your positive intention, bring up the issue you want to address in a self-responsible manner. That is, rather than talking about what the other person did or didn't do, talk more about what you experience or feel when they do or don't do whatever.
Use WISHING in the body of your conversation to express yourself in a self-responsible manner:
Then end your conversation with a GIFT.
Your GIFT might take 30 seconds and sound like this: “I'm so grateful that we had this conversation. I appreciate your attitude and our ability to work through this difficult issue. Our relationship is important to me. I am delighted that we are both committed to working things out. I think this is going to help the team immensely. Thanks.”
The more you practice this, the better you will become at moving through it easily and successfully.
Those successes will give you experiences that actually help you feel more courageous. Success breeds success.