Who is that person that you just dread talking to? Is it a colleague or a family member? Or someone at your place of worship or the organization you volunteer with? Or perhaps it’s not so much the person, but a certain topic that you dread talking about?
Most of us have at least one dreaded conversation in our lives. What makes these conversations so frustrating is that they catch us off guard, challenge our values and test our limits. And, to make matters worse, they’re usually with people that we can’t avoid either because we work with them, are related to them or encounter them in a social context. So we can’t just keep ignoring these people or conversations. But how do we start having these conversations go the way we want them to go?
I also used to have conversations that I dreaded, for example with my hot-headed uncle who would always push all my buttons at any family function and with a judge that I worked for at immigration court who had the meanest reputation. Just the thought of having to talk to these people would get my stomach tied up in knots.
But then I figured how to have a tender and sweet conversation with my uncle and how to professionally joke with the judge and even get her praise! Here is the key I found to having conversations start going the way I wanted them to go: Prepare for a dreaded conversation like you would prepare for a job interview.
That’s exactly what I show you how to do in Peace is Sexy’s latest workbook “Participate in Dreaded Conversations with Ease.” In this workbook, I break down the cutting edge, step-by-step methodology you need to think about in order to prepare for a dreaded conversation—from learning from past conversations, to clarifying your objectives to coming up with an appropriate exit strategy. I also give you case studies so you can see how I positively transformed conversations with my hot-headed uncle and with the judge everyone else tries to avoid.
Here’s what conflict management expert Cinnie Noble says about the workbook: “It’s really terrific…. well done, clear and practical.”
Alexandra Khazin writes, “Marianne gives practical steps and advice that can be applied at every stage (before, during and after) the conversation. It makes us understand we are responsible for our actions. She insists on the fact that we cannot wait for the other to ‘make an effort.’ We share the responsibility and have to do our part regardless of what the other party is willing to do or not in order to achieve a peaceful conversation. As a consequence, this new tool Marianne developed helps us to know ourselves better and enhance the quality of our relationships.”
As the media bombards us with messages about all these big, messy, intractable conflicts going on in the world it can seem like our own interpersonal issues are a reflection of human beings’ tendency to have messy, intractable conflicts. But what mainstream media isn’t showing us are all the tools, knowledge and experience that have been developed in order to address conflicts big and small. That’s what our aim is at Peace is Sexy: to share with you the best case studies, tools and methodologies to make peace available and accessible to you in your daily life.
So if you’ve got a dreaded conversation in your life, you could just keep attempting to survive it whether it’s by trying to avoid a total melt-down, turning it into a screaming match or creating an impregnable ice barrier. Or you could learn the concrete steps that you can implement in order to make a family event fun and connected or a professional encounter rewarding. Ultimately, you could use these tools to bring a little bit more peace into the world and join the community of people who are making peace sexy and possible.