There may be a point in your wedding planning when you need to have a challenging conversation. It could be with a wedding vendor, your future in-laws, or even our fiancé. The key to having this conversation is the ability to address your concern without drama.
Years ago, my awesome executive coaches shared a tool with me called FACE. Using the steps provided in FACE consistently afforded me the chance to have challenging discussions, yet remain professional and compassionate.
- F – What are the FACTS in the situation? You cannot address a challenge without identifying it first. Consider writing a quick list of the issues concerning you. Read the list — If it is filled with emotion, try to rewrite it with just the facts. You want the listener to hear your concerns without getting lost in your emotions.
- A – What do you want to ACCOMPLISH with the conversation? Are you upset with your groom because he isn’t helping you with wedding planning tasks? Then, focus your discussion on the game plan or the to-do list. Don’t spend a ton of time telling him how upset you are because he hasn’t helped you in the past — Instead, focus your discussion on how happy you are going to be because of his help going forward. Then, focus on the list of tasks.
- C – What COMMON GROUND can you find? After you begin the conversation, listen to understand (worth repeating: “listen to understand”) your counterpart’s frame of reference. Work together to create some common ground that meet each side’s key concerns and interests. Discuss methods for keeping communication open as you go forward.
- E – What are your EXPECTATIONS as a result of the conversation? One of my favorite Steven Covey sayings is, “Start with the end in mind.” It’s VERY easy to get off on an unnecessary tangent when you are having a difficut discussion. Decide what you need at the end of the discussion (a smaller guest list, an apology, a game plan, etc.), and steer your talking points toward that. And, hopefully, this will keep you focused and closer to your goal.
Love & Soul Always, Kay
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