The paralysing difficulty accountants experience discussing feelings in a difficult conversation…

Feelings are an unavoidable part of every difficult conversation.

Fail to get your colleague to express their feelings and they will not hear you, they will simply stop listening because they are thinking about how they are feeling.

So how do you get them to tell you how they really feel about a situation?

The cost of asking someone to share their feelings can be risky as you are unsure of their emotional response, some will be measured, some upset and some hysterical.

However unexpressed feelings stop the conversation from moving forward and block our ability to fully listen and appreciate the other person’s point of view.

If unaddressed, feelings will either leak out or burst out!

Feelings are often at the heart of every difficult conversation.

So how can you have an open and honest conversation about how the other person is feeling?

A successful learning conversation is peppered with feeling questions and empathy statements. For a successful discussion about feelings you must be open and honest and have a genuine curiosity about how the other person is feeling.

It goes without saying that it’s also important to listen to what they are saying and not interject with your own feelings when the atmosphere is highly charged.

It is important to remember that a highly charged difficult conversation more than likely shows that the other person really cares about the situation, they want to resolve the problem just as much as you do.

Please click here to read more about how to approach difficult conversations.

Paul Shrimpling

Paul (@shrimpers) works exclusively with accountancy firms helping them achieve remarkable results through remarkable practice. Paul has an active LinkedIn group dedicated to marketing for accountants - Marketing for UK accountants in Practice - more leads more often. If you're a manager, partner or marketing manager of an accountancy firm join us. Paul is also the creator of Marketing Services for Accountants and Business Bitesize - go to the products page to find out more...

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