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Breaking Communication Cycles: How to Reset a Conversation

Reset conversation

We’ve all been there. Frustrated because we can’t seem to get our point across. After taking a moment’s pause to see if you can understand why the situation is happening, you can reset the conversation and simply start over.

Example – you come home from work and immediately start complaining about the horrible day you’ve had and how exhausted you are.  But you don’t say “Can you please put the kids to bed tonight?” That’s what you meant, but you didn’t say it. You try to go to bed, but hear your children still watching TV in the living room. Don’t get mad. Return to the situation and reset. You can say: “I’m sorry, I should say what I want. I’m exhausted tonight. Would you please put the kids to bed?”

Be clear, concise and don’t expect mind reading. Often, arguments start because we thought the person knew us well enough to understand words unspoken. Before things get too heated, speak those words and see what happens.

You can do the same with undone work tasks by coworkers. For instance, if you asked someone you’re supervising to do a task but weren’t specific. Find out why the task wasn’t done. Then reset to communicate clearly and with clear instruction as to what needs to be done.

The power of apologizing and learning to reset the conversation is a good reminder that gratitude, forgiveness, and remorse are the most endearing emotional expressions. That’s why my 10 Easy Appreciation Exercises is the most popular blog on my site for 6 months running.

Many thank yous to all my readers for being so gracious.

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Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in improving interpersonal communication skills, building and leading teams, training supervisors, career coaching, solving human resources issues, and working with different communication styles and generations.

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