How to Have Exploratory Conversations

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One thing I’ve learned throughout my life is that if something doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. What do you do in these situations where you feel something isn’t right? These moments are important times to have tough conversations which will allow us to understand the situation better.

Exploratory Conversations are used as a tool to help guide conversations into deeper levels of mutual understanding. This tool can help pinpoint frustrations that prevent you from moving forward, and help you ask the right questions that will transform these situations.

When you are willing to have those direct conversations that make some people uncomfortable, you will begin to let transformation occur. The following steps are designed to help you guide these much needed conversations into a deeper level of mutual understanding.

1. Identify the frustration

Before getting into the conversation, it’s important to go into the conversation in the frame of mind that you wish to identify to the issue. This step alone could change the entire conversation if the frustration turned out to be something other than what you perceived it to be.

2. Clarify by seeking to understand

Make sure you clearly understand the frustration at hand. Asking questions to clarify the frustration will help prevent further misunderstandings.

3. Evaluate the current impact

Find out the results this frustration is causing, this will allow both parties to further understand the importance of resolving the frustration.

4. Reflect on how your actions could have contributed

It is important to recognize that we all have our own personal contribution to the matter. It could simply be by tolerating a behavior which could be contributing to the frustration. Taking ownership of these actions and understanding that you can only change the behavior of that you choose to accept.

5. Imagine the possible solutions for the future

Now that you have a clear understanding of the situation, talk about what can be done to make things better for both of you.

6. Transform with action

The most important piece to having this conversation is to follow-through afterwards. Set by-when dates and expectations for what action will be taken.

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