It’s Christmas time and we all are anticipating some experiences which will fall somewhere between It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
While I am blessed with a wonderful family and am looking forward to celebrations of Christmas with them, I think that we all are reminded of a few family members who can make this time of year a little more stressful.
The author of Crucial Conversations offers some tips on managing family conversations, and I wanted to share them with you.
– Make it safe. When confronting bad behavior, first help the other person know you care about his or her interests.
– Just the facts. Start with the facts and strip out accusatory, judgmental, and inflammatory language.
– Tentatively share concerns. Having laid out the facts, tell the person why you’re concerned, but don’t do it as an accusation—share it as an opinion.
– Invite dialogue. After sharing your concerns, encourage the other person to share his or hers—even if he or she disagrees with you. One of the best ways to persuade others is to listen to them.
Of course, these principles apply to work relationships as well as family relationships.
During the next ten hectic days, make some “me time” to unwind a little bit, and some time to reflect on the successes, challenges and failures of the last year and what you have learned or can still learn from what went wrong.
Life is filled with relationships, and keeping track of family, work, and social commitments is a part of raising your game. (And no, I don’t have an uncle Fred – but I do have a cousin who saw these tips and commented “Surely none of your relatives could ever be described as unruly!” Nope – not you, Tim.)
Merry Christmas to you all!