Difficult Conversations/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on September 27, 2015


We all try to avoid difficult conversations. We prefer to avoid confrontation and unpleasant moments. In divorce or commercial disputes, it is sometimes impossible to avoid these discussions. Rather than being fearful of the encounter, we can gain much by thinking of the challenge we face in trying to convert negative to positive, and the learning experience from finding out how the other side is thinking. We can learn much about the other side’s position, mindset, and strategy from direct conversation. We learn nothing by avoiding the conversation. Being curious about what makes others tick is a handy skill to possess. As the late Rep. Sam Rayburn said “I learn more from listening than from talking”. Viewing discussions as potentially helpful, even if emotionally charged, can be a great asset in all discussions. Talking often trumps avoidance in a big way.