If you’re like me, chances are you walked into many high-stakes conversations without even realizing what was at stake, and without having either a goal or a game plan on how to achieve that goal.
And then, you walked out without understanding what the heck just happened and why everything turned out so wrong.
Having good conversations is a skill. You need to keep track of all of your interlocutors’ signals including values, beliefs, arguments, body language, logical fallacies, and so on, while keeping track of your own presence and communication.
So if on top of that you realize mid-flight that you didn’t plan exactly what preferred outcome you wanted from the interaction, then it’s game over.
Entering a conversation with a goal can be the deal-breaker that will make the conversation a success for both parties, or a drag and the beginning of a conflict.
Most shortcomings can be avoided by preparing and practicing the art of conversation, and by taking care of the most important step of all.