Maybe I’m the only one who has an adversity to conversations I’d rather not find myself in. I could have been in the circus or worked for the magician, Houdini, because I could find an escape route from these uncomfortable situations. Well, like most things in life, I couldn’t avoid them forever so I decided to see if I could grow a tolerance for them. As I launched this inquiry, over the years, I’ve noticed how my participation in these situations has evolved.


The old model:

1.    Getting face-to-face or ear-to-ear

2.    Looking at them, trying to be interested

3.    Sitting on my hands so I wouldn’t bolt

4.    Thinking I’m listening

5.    Reacting or trying not to react to what they’re saying

6.    Evaluating the Right or Wrong of what they’re saying

7.    Justifying, explaining, or defending my part of the topic


The new model:

1.    Getting face-to-face or ear-to-ear

2.    Showing up as best I can in the moment with as clear a mind as I can muster

3.    Knowing I’m equipped for anything that comes up in this conversation. No need to run.

4.    Putting my attention on the speaker while my mind is whirling a sh—show of commentary.

5.    Staying neutral. This is an active position for me because I see that I can’t hear what they’re trying to say when I’m falling into the story my mind is generating about what’s going down.

6.    Listening for what they’re really trying to convey. Am I getting their point? Am I curious about what they’re saying?

7.    Questioning them to see if I’m understanding what they are trying to communicate.

8.    Still staying neutral. How can we collaborate to address what they are sharing? 

9.    Seeing the value of cultivating goodwill with this person. What can be created NEW from this conversation?


When I review how these conversations go down for me now, I can’t believe I could experience such a dramatic difference in conversations I had once avoided. What surprises me, equally, is the connection and goodwill that comes from listening in a new way. I see where old patterns can’t persist when I show up differently. Something NEW has to happen if I show up differently.


This is typically where I laugh…

What? It’s ME again! Really?



Try doing difficult conversations differently. There’s no perfection, just showing up differently supports change, connection, and goodwill. Something, I believe, we all seek.


Please let me know if you give this a try, I’d love to hear from you!


Sending smiles,




P.S. In these inquiries, I’m fascinated by the limitless Intelligence behind life that brings fresh ideas and solutions to each of us. What it brings, I’m grateful for. The fact that it is always here and in service to me, for living a more peaceful, loving life…amazes me.