How to Have Life Changing Conversations

Your job is bringing out the best in others by the way you interact with them. Well timed, well executed conversation change people’s lives.

First:

Determine and affirm aspirations and goals. Never have conversations about an individual’s life, strengths, weaknesses, or potential until you understand their hopes and dreams.

People open their hearts to people
who understand their hearts.

Second:

Explore strengths and weaknesses in the context of aspirations.

Ask:

  1. What strengths propel you toward fulfilling your dream?
  2. What weaknesses hinder progress?
  3. Which strengths are most useful to taking the next step?
  4. Which weaknesses are most detrimental to forward movement?

Tip:

If you’re addressing weaknesses, try two questions at once. “What behaviors and qualities will enhance your progress and what qualities and behaviors will hinder your success?” Address negatives in the context of positives.

Affirm strengths by explaining practical benefit and positive potential. Address weakness by exploring how they hinder aspirations.

Third:

Address negatives without being a downer?

Use positive qualities as foundations to discuss behaviors that need improvement. For example, if you’re having conversations with a goal oriented person. Open the “you need improvement” part of the conversation by asking, “A goal oriented person may walk on others, how might that be true of you?”

Fourth:

Craft strategies with them not for them.

After they identify strengths and weaknesses, craft strategies that better move them forward with them. You may feel you know the best answer but they must find their own. Embrace their journey.

Fifth:

Focus more on positives than negatives. If you bring something up that creates frustration or anger, pull back. But, know that anger indicates it matters. Touch the topic at another time. They just aren’t ready to deal with it yet.

How do you have conversations that move people forward?

What types of conversations haven’t worked for you in the past?