A difficult conversation happens because we seek to achieve two conflicting outcomes at the same time.
Asking people to rush out of the office when it is on fire is not a difficult conversation. In that moment, everybody wants only one thing – to be out of harm’s way.
It is difficult to tell your star salesperson to stop bullying her colleagues. You want her stellar results, but you also want her to stay in your company.
It is difficult to tell your friend to be punctual the next time. You want your time to be respected, but also don’t want your friendship to deteriorate.
It is difficult to pursue an unconventional career while pleasing everybody around us. Society is wired to push people into conventions.
The next time you find that a conversation is difficult, think of the two things you want to achieve at the same time. Which among those is dearest to you?