Parents in the past have talked about tough talks without being clear. You know the obscure metaphor of the birds and the bees? I’ll bet you have examples right now of metaphors and obscure references adults used to teach you about important topics that still confuse you. Today, you will learn 3 steps to being clear when communicating about tough talks.
3 Steps to Be Clear
- Know exacting what the facts are. This sounds really easy but it isn’t. We use a lot of mental gymnastics to describe adoption, sperm donation, divorce, unemployment, but when you are thinking about how to clearly communicate, you first have to clearly define the facts, without any emotion. Use a journal or a frank discussion with an uninvolved party to clearly define the facts that need to be communicated. A bare statement of facts sounds harsh and rude when it is first lined out, but just knowing what exactly needs to be said makes it easier to create a statement that is truthful and loving.
- Know exactly who your audience is. How old are they? What do they actually need to know? What do they want to know? Your actual communication will need to take into account this information.
- Use as few words as possible. Think of this as an opening to several smaller conversations. When you first talk about the topic, give just the facts that are necessary. We will have more blogs on specifics about each type of conversation.
There is a lot to consider when thinking about a tough talk with someone you love. Be Honest, Be Clear, Be Curious, and Be Focused. If you need help preparing for a specific conversation, call Acorn. Our counselors specialize in tough talks with loved ones.
Christy Graham provides training for parents, child care workers, and therapists who work with children. Her 17 years of experience with children and families allows her to teach evidence-based approaches to life’s biggest challenges. Call 940-222-8703 to talk!