10. Decide in advance how much time you are going to devote to the conversation.
9. If someone approaches you at a bad time, say something like, “I’d love to talk with you about this. Can we get together tomorrow for coffee?”
8. Practice what you want to say in advance. You might want to write it out.
7. Disregard what “they”, “other people”, or “a lot of people” think.
6. Disregard anonymous communications.
5. Avoid three-way triangles of communication.
4. Listen more than you speak.
3. Introduce a difficult topic by saying, “Help me understand.”
2. Speak only from your own perspective. Do this by using “I” statements.
1. When you have something sensitive to discuss, face-to-face conversation is best. Phone conversation is second choice. Please, please, please don’t email or text!
Rev. Molly Shivers is the Director of Conflict Transformation Ministries. Learn more about Molly on her staff biography.