How to Have the “Harder”-“Deeper” Conversations that Transform Our Relationships: Transcript from Sophia’s Saturday Love Chat

August 18, 2012 Saturday Love Twitter Chat: Having Courageous Conversations that Carry Us Through

Today we discussed an important topic for living well as human beings: We discussed the importance of talking things out, even when it is hard or challenging to do so.  We borrowed some wisdom from Iyanla Vanzant via ( on HOW to have those hard conversations, and WHY it matters so much to our well being & growth to do so successfully. My dear friend, best-selling author and speaker Michelle McKinney Hammond says this: “When two people fail to sustain a relationship,both had something to do with its demise. It’s time we stop naming and blaming.”  I agree it’s time start loving and forgiving. Listening and transforming for the better.

My standard moderator disclaimer: If I am talking about it, tweeting about it, or posting about it, I am living through it, and have walked through it, and I want to help others avoid my mistakes or learn from my successes. I have really failed over the past six months in this area, so I am looking for ways to practice what I preach and transform in this area where I usually excel.

Fact: Conversations are not always easy to have. But if we find the courage to have the hard ones we grow, our relationships grow, and our ties with one another deepen. Some will argue that it is better to NOT talk, better to walk away. HOG Wash. Losing someone of value is never the right way.  Walking away without explaining why you are doing so is cruel.  You leave people scarred and wounded, wondering, “what did I do wrong?” In reality, having a hard conversation only becomes hard because we have avoided dealing with the issues between us and someone else early on when it was easy to discuss or dissect.  Our relationships fail when we know we should speak up, but we fail to do so.  We know we need to be heard or hear someone and yet FEAR stops us from saying what we need to say.

Here is a transcript of this Saturday’s Twitter chat: My Tweets below only–Retweets, interactions can be found by going to #SaturdayLove hashtag on 

I watch trends on social media & the BIGGEST Trend I see daily is people who R hurt, broken, angry by relationships gone bad #SaturdayLove

What is the #1 reason relationships, partnerships, friendships GO WRONG? Lack of honest, early, two-way, valued communication #SaturdayLove

Fear is that voice that says if I speak up I will be: rejected, ignored, an argument will ensue, they won’t care how I feel.#SaturdayLove

@IyanlaVanzant says it is NOT a “hard conversation” unless the relationship matters. I agree. #SaturdayLove So let’s get into it.

@IyanlaVanzant: Hard conversations occur in important relationship where some info needs to be shared, clarity gained or feelings expressed.

So let’s get into WHY we need to have courageous conversations and then the HOW we have them. #SaturdayLove

Having the conversation is critical no matter what the outcome. Cowards say “I CAN’T” talk it out. You must try. It heals. #SaturdayLove

1. If a relationship or person is important to you, you will fight to keep it healthy. #SaturdayLove

2. It is the responsible thing to do to bring closure to a challenging conflict with someone who you love, or valued. #SaturdayLove

WHY we must have the courage to talk it out:

3. The Golden rule: Treat others how you want to be treated. You ever been dropped? Discarded without a word? How does it feel? It feels horrible #SaturdayLove

4. Talking it out allows you both to grow. It challenges you, but it strengthens your interpersonal skills. It transforms. #SaturdayLove

5. Talking it out-with courage, respect & love may not mean you can mend things but it allows you to move forward whole. #SaturdayLove

Now let’s get to the HOW we have these conversations:

Here are 7 steps according to #OWN Life Class Coach @IyanlaVanzant on HOW to have hard conversations & come out winning! #SaturdayLove

Step #1: Acknowledge the fact that you need to have a hard conversation. #SaturdayLove

Step #2: Clarify your expectations. Be clear with yourself about what your experience should be. It is not about who is RIGHT.#SaturdayLove

Step #3: Invite the other person to have a conversation with you. Be open. Be easy. Be light. Invite them into a safe space.#SaturdayLove

Step #4: Set the ground rules—especially if you think there’s potential for upset. Ask to be heard and to hear them out.#SaturdayLove

Step #5: You have to be willing to listen. You cannot do all the talking. You must listen to the other’s persons view.#SaturdayLove

Step #6: Be willing to be wrong. I have said this before. Start saying-I think I’m right but I could be wrong. Listen & Grow.#SaturdayLove

Step #7: Agree on what happens after the talk. Don’t just leave a conversation without an action/expectation plan. #SaturdayLove

The takeaway about having hard conversations:

1. Timing is key. Wait till you are both open to talking. If one of you is not and it is urgent find a mediator or write a letter.

2. Have the courage 2 ask 2 talk. Extend and invitation make it safe to talk. #SaturdayLove

3. Don’t let fear of what they may say, think or do STOP you from engaging in a healing, affirmational, tough, needed talk.#SaturdayLove

4. Understand that your time here is short. Say what you need to say. Say it now. (click here to play:)

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