My first attempt at having a difficult conversation “better” than I typically did wasn’t a big blow-up or a life changing moment. It involved returning a watch to a store.
I bought my first fancy watch in my early 20’s and it had broken… for the second time in the same exact place. I suspected that the sales clerk would suggest doing the exact same thing she did the first time – send the watch away to the Montreal store for repair. And I doubted that this would work.
When she suggested exactly this, instead of arguing or caving in, I thought, OK… this is my chance to practice. I asked her with genuine curiosity, “What makes you think it will actually be repaired this time?”
And when she persisted, I continued practicing, “Help me understand… I’m happy to do what’s best here, but I’m still confused as to how doing the exact same thing will ensure that this resolves the issue this time.”
She didn’t have a good answer for me, and she knew it.
More importantly though, I remained calm and grounded in a situation where I would have normally been filled with self-doubt and heading straight into fight, flight, or freeze-mode.
I was shocked to discover how easy it was to speak up without being pushy or aggressive… and then she asked me what I wanted.
I almost fell over.
I had never been given carte blanche to ask for what I want during a customer service discussion.
Again, I thought, here’s another chance to practice. So I offered with total openness, “One of the options is that you could give me a new watch.”
And without batting an eyelid she agreed.
I was BEYOND thrilled.
But not because of the new watch… because I had finally broken free from a set of beliefs that had been holding me back for years. I had always thought that I needed to be forceful or even aggressive to deal with difficult situations and get results.
But I learned that there was real power in my quiet, calm, and grounded nature.
I started applying the techniques I learned in situations with higher stakes, like disagreements with family members or in the workplace.
My voice often shook at first, but I started finding win-win solutions to issues that would have remained unresolved before… and that’s what inspired me to keep going.
I now specialize in helping women find and claim their voice by providing them with the tools and support they need to break free from self-doubt.
If you’re read this far, type the word PINEAPPLE in the comments before Friday at noon and I’ll send you a free little gift to help you find and claim your voice!