This August, during my short vacation back home, I am planning to have a difficult conversation with a former fellow who I have known three years ago while I was serving in the Taiwanese Armed Forces. We were best friends at that time; however, due to a series of misunderstanding occurred in the last month of our service, we stopped talking to each other ever since and eventually became estranged. Now every time when I look back at our withering friendship, I cannot help but feel regret about it. And I am planning to have a difficult conversation with this friend, trying to recover our long past friendship.
It will be a difficult conversation for us for several reasons. First, we have not stayed in touch since our discharge from the armed forces. Several years have passed and now it seems imperative that we re-establish an effective communication channel and get to re-know each other in the shortest possible time. Second, when dealing with the “what happened” conversation, we must manage to revisit all the misunderstanding occurred two years ago, so that we are able to exchange our stories. Lastly, we need to properly and openly express our feelings, a challenging situation that I am not comfortable with. Considering all these factors, I anticipate our conversation to be both a difficult and a challenging one.
Question 2: Discuss the what happened conversation.
The “what happened” conversation centers on a disagreement generated by misunderstanding between two parties (Heen et al, p.26, 2010). In such a difficult conversation, we must first understand that it is rarely about getting the facts right, but rather, it is about conflicting percep...
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...ore about his story and recognize the misunderstanding involved, but also directly encourage him to reveal more of his story. This will lead to effective communication between us. Second, I must speak for myself with clarity and power, so that I can express what I am thinking and feeling. As I am usually not a confident speaker, some preparations will help me identify the key issues in my story, so that I can give him the whole spectrum of my story during our conversation. I must provide the context and the development of my feelings during those past events to help him understand me better. By carefully examining all the above-mentioned tactics, I found that a difficult conversation is all about communication. By openly expressing my story and actively listening to his story, I should feel confident that I will eventually succeed in such a difficult conversation.
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