When Stakes are High outlines how to handle disagreements when they arise. Words are small but powerful, they can people’s attitudes and behaviors in an instant. They also teach how to use words to communicate effectively to accomplish the desired results. Life is full of awkward and uncomfortable moments that can be resolved by simply speaking up, but so many people have never learned the artful skill of communication, so they either never speak their mind, or they do it inadequately. Conversations are crucial to a happy and healthy life. Without communication or conversations, life has no purpose or meaning. When handled properly, these crucial conversations can lead to a breakthrough in a personal or business relationship, if handled negatively they can lead to relationship breakdowns. Conversations are necessary to life, and emotions impacts them in more ways than one. Emotions can be taken out of context which can lead to a collapse in the line of communication that people will either never resolve or hope the situation fixes itself. By starting with heart people can take those emotions they want to use negatively and how they have been taught to use them and create an open dialogue with the ultimate motive of resolution.
One of the main reasons conversations are handled improperly is because of emotions. Entire relationships are built and broken on emotions alone. Emotions can be hard to deal with because they combine the personal with the professional and invite others to comment on personal things in people’s lives. Emotions are ingrained in people as children, and they go hand in hand with destructive habits like “debate, silent treatment, and manipulation” that utilize negative emotions to target individuals
instead of help (Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler, 2012). So naturally, people try to avoid emotions when conversations arise. Emotions entangle themselves in not only what people say but how they say it. It imperative to separate the problem from the emotion especially in the workplace because emotion filled words can be interpreted in the wrong way. People that take the words out of context start to feel threatened and retaliate which increases the levels of anger which leads to feelings of resentment and revenge. Before discussing difficult subjects, it is vitally important to have the correct mindset and motives, while remembering that “dialogue is always an option” and start the conversation with less emotion and more positive intent and consideration towards the other person (Patterson et al., 2012).
The best way to get in the correct mindset is to Start with Heart. People need to work within themselves first and identify their own issues before they can help anyone else. If they cannot help themselves then they cannot be of help to others. The most successful people are the ones who can realize the toxic traits within themselves before trying to correct the rest of the world. Instead of subtly attacking others for their shortcomings by playing unhealthy games, they start with the right motives. A popular dialogue killer is winning. Many people constantly view conversation as a type of game played for sport. The original intention of resolving the issue is blinded by the need to be right in the situation, even if it costs the conversationalists a “fair amount of personal discomfort” (Patterson et al., 2012). By learning to stop blaming those around them and start reflecting on their inner selves which maintaining their true motives, they continually “improve their dialogue skills” and enrich their lives and future conversations (Patterson et al., 2012). They learn to gain the self control necessary for effective communication, they must stop trying to control the world around them and can finally focus on the healthy aspects they can bring to the discussion.
In my opinion Start with Heart is probably the most important aspect of dialogue. People constantly lose sight of what is actually important within a conversation because they begin to focus on themselves rather than the original topic. By inviting emotions in to the discussion they are essentially inviting discourse and dissent. Emotions have a unique way of positioning blame on the other person and opens the door for criticisms which leads to silence and violence. To communicate effectively in general, it is necessary for people to focus on their goals, especially when it gets tough. Without this aspect of dialogue, people would resort to pettiness and childish behavior. Start with the heart provides clarification and peace needed in communication. It allows people to differentiate between what they value and how that differs from society’s values and opinions on communication, ultimately allowing people to choose the most successful way to communicate.
Crucial conversations are highly controlled by emotions. The ability to distinguish and separate those emotions from dialogue by helps prevent any miscommunications in the professional arena. By constantly being aware of emotional triggers and others, people can control their own and consequently avoid setting off others. Even though they cannot control people, they can partially control the situation. Communicating effectively with the right motives allows people to continue their career in the business world while also creating new and exciting opportunities for the future.