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Tips for Having Courageous Conversations

10.20.18 | Being The Church | by Stephanie O'Brien

    In our lives as Jesus followers we often need to "speak the truth in love" as Paul encourages the church to do in Ephesians 4:15. This means we will have to take courage and step into difficult and challenging conversations even when we are afraid. 

    Prayer is an important part of this entire process. Jesus presence can guide us and and give us peace no matter what the outcome.

    Here is a guide that could help as you follow God's leadership into these conversations:

    Courageous conversations are needed in:

          • Work relationships
          • Family relationships
          • Friendships

    (360 degrees in all directions - up with leaders or parents, down with those you lead or your kids or those you mentor, across with friends and partners)

     Courageous conversations are:

          • Confession of brokenness
          • Asking for help
          • Sharing a concern
          • Carefronting a person you are concerned about
          • Carefronting someone who you disagree with
          • Carefronting someone who has hurt you
          • Others?

    Courageous Conversation Starters:

          • Would you be willing to have a conversation with me that might be challenging, but potentially helpful and hopeful?
          • I’m wondering if we talked about this, if we would be able to find a better way forward.
          • I have some concerns that I know would be better shared then me holding onto them internally.
          • The story I’m telling myself about this situation is… (then asking their version)
          • I’m curious about some observations I’ve made of you/our relationship…
          • I’m struggling and need to have a truth telling talk, would you be willing to listen to me?

     Courageous Conversation Sustainers:

          • Can you help me understand?
          • Tell me what isn’t working for you in this situation/relationship…
          • Can you walk me through the situation from your perspective?
          • Would you be willing to hear my perspective?
          • Could you tell me more about…?
          • (When misunderstood) Let me try that again…
          • My experience of you/the situation is different than yours in these ways…
          • It seems like we may need to take a break from this conversation for now, can we commit to continuing it when we have more time and energy?

    Courageous Conversation Follow Up:

          • That was a difficult conversation we had the other day, I’m thankful you were willing to talk with me even though it was challenging.
          • If anything is on your mind or heart from our previous conversation, it would be great to dialogue with you about that.
          • I’ve been thinking more about what we talked about the other day and I would appreciate a chance to talk more with you about it.
          • I’ve taken some growth steps since I shared my struggle with you that it would be great for you to know about as a supportive person in my life.