Do you ever stay in a conversation you don’t want to be in, because you think it’s rude to say something?
I was at a spa recently and overheard this comment between friends:
The last time I had a massage I didn’t enjoy it at all. The masseuse asked me about my work and we talked about work the entire time. I couldn’t relax at all. It was horrible.
Okay – so what’s wrong with this picture?
Most of us are guilty of not speaking up when we really should. We put up with an unwanted or annoying conversation just to be polite, or because we just aren’t comfortable saying anything.
The key to getting what you want is to state what you need in a clear and respectful manner. Don’t expect a something different to happen if you don’t specifically ask for it.
In the case of the chatty masseuse, how about this response:
Thanks for asking, but today I just want to relax in peace and quiet and not even think about work.
Then be quiet and enjoy your rub! If that doesn’t work, and they keep blabbering on, try something like this:
Today, I’d really like to relax and have silence during my massage. Thanks for honoring that.
In this case, you are the customer! You get to have it your way, so don’t settle for less. In other words, don’t expect others to read your mind or understand your undisclosed expectations!
Two key steps to getting the result you want:
- State what you want or need in a kind and respectful manner.
- Be clear and specific about what you expect to have happen next.
Remember, it’s okay to say what you need in most any situation as long as you remain kind and respectful.
It is your responsibility to make sure you are clear on what you need and want. You can’t expect something different to happen if you don’t specifically ask for it.
Practice Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable
Sometimes it helps to practice first to get more comfortable saying what may be uncomfortable. And, with practice, it really will become easier and you will be on your way to getting more of what you want and need when you want and need it.
Do you have a communication issue with a boss, co-worker, team member, or employee? Need advice on how to handle a conversation well? Leave a comment here and I’ll blog about it!
Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home. And, it’s now available on Kindle! Check it out.
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