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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

Difficult times - Easy conversations

How to navigate these unusual times with thoughtful nuance

Changing World and the Need to Keep up

Having good communication skills is a valuable tool in Life. Especially, given the reality that time and time again we are confronted with the hard truth of having to engage in difficult conversations. Facing these situations with panache does not mean we would never get into an argument or avoid confrontation, instead it entails adopting tools and resources to navigate conversations with mindful understanding, confidence and empathy. Gathering enormous strength and presence of mind to navigate the elusive exchanges.

The last two years have tested our skills in this area among many others. So many of the topics around COVID have become a hot button topic. The politics of the vaccine, the wearing of the mask, the various lifestyle responses to the pandemic, the unprecedented economic impact this crisis has created, how lives and relationships have been affected, the deep impact on business the list is endless. Many of us when faced with a difficult situation often fall back into cliched responses. These are often hard wired into our emotional psyche. Some of us freeze, others lash out in self defense, yet another will raise their voice as their temper rises, while some choose to duck confrontation. Most of these extreme reactions are indicative of power struggles rather than a resolution of any kind.

Reinventing the Wheel

Instead of being reactive in this volatile situation, the very first thing we have to do is to pause, regroup our thoughts and clear our initial response. If we restore some balance, clarity and spirit of curiosity to the conversation, we will gain a whole new perspective. We need to develop new core capabilities and these will stand us in good stead. The nervous system is calmed down, no stress is released and we can still retain our clarity. However, I know from personal experience that this is easier said than done.

Affirmative Intention

So how can we engage in meaningful conversation, listening and engaging in the other person's point of view? My research has led me to the reality that once again, Mindfulness can play a huge role in striking a balance. This is a resource that allows us to be cognizant of our thoughts and actions as we maintain an even keel. Keeping us grounded. Conflict tends to create disharmony, practicing mindfulness brings back our balance.

Unknot and keeping it simple

The pandemic has held up a mirror to our frailty and forced us to reassess much of our reality. So many of our values are being tested, as we find ourselves at a crucial juncture. Meaningful conversations have the power to cast light and dispel the shadows. We must pledge as a community to engage with one another, as we open our hearts to understand our differences, value our uniqueness and broaden our horizons as true citizens of a global fraternity. The world and its issues are complex enough, lets simplify them by reaching out and opening up to one another's point of view. Looking forward to hearing from my readers.

We are stronger together


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