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Having Influence when Emotions are Running High


So many times, whether in a professional setting or personal life, having influence or getting through to someone that you're in disagreement with can seem like an uphill battle. I know I've wrestled with it, and from my recent message to my client about these very challenges, it's clear many others do too. But since this is such an important topic, I didn't want to stop there. I wanted to share these insights with you as well.

When emotions are running high, conversations can quickly escalate into conflict, leaving both parties feeling frustrated and misunderstood. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are strategies we can all learn to communicate more effectively, even in the most emotionally charged situations. These strategies are not about manipulation but about understanding, empathy, and collaboration.

Whether you're trying to negotiate at work, talk to a family member about a sensitive topic, or have any crucial conversation that's potentially emotionally charged, these steps can help you connect and have a more successful dialogue. Here are a few key takeaways that can help.


1. Get Out of Your Head and Into Theirs
Understanding the other person is the cornerstone of effective communication. This means stepping out of your mindset and attempting to view the situation through their eyes. What pressures or fears might they be experiencing? By actively thinking through their potential stress or pain, you're developing what's called strategic empathy. It's not merely imagining what it's like to be them but thinking as if you are them. This shift in perspective can lead to more compassionate and effective communication.

2. Express Gratitude and Connect
Starting a conversation, especially a challenging one, on a positive note can pave the way for successful dialogue. Whether thanking them for their time in a professional setting or expressing love or care in a personal one, this initial connection builds rapport and trust. It's not just about saying the words; it's about genuinely appreciating the opportunity to engage and connect.

3. Acknowledge and Validate Their Perspective
Recognition goes beyond mere understanding. It's about validating the other person's feelings or viewpoints with empathy. By using a "seems like" statement, such as "It seems like this issue is incredibly important to you," you're acknowledging their feelings without judgment. This step can foster a feeling of respect and mutual understanding, making the conversation more constructive.

4. Share Your Perspective and Ask a No-Oriented Question
Sharing your perspective and making your request is a critical step in the conversation, and how you approach it can make all the difference. Start by expressing your thoughts and needs clearly, then frame a "no-oriented question." This is a key teaching of Chris Voss, former FBI hostage negotiator. A ‘no oriented question' such as "Would it be unreasonable if...?" or "Would it be completely out of the question if...?" allows the other person to feel in control and opens the door for collaboration. It’s a strategic nudge to where you want him/her to go.

The Result: Collaborate on a Solution
After implementing the four key takeaways, the stage is set for collaboration. This phase isn't about winning or losing; it's about working together towards a shared goal. By actively involving the other person in the problem-solving process, you foster cooperation and trust.

The outcome goes beyond resolving the issue at hand; it's about enhancing communication, building connections, and paving the way for successful future interactions. Empathy and respect cultivated through the preceding steps, make it more likely you’ll be heard and gain buy-in.

If you have any questions or want further guidance. I'm here to help!

Cheering you on always!



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