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Part 3 | Direct Communication Series: How To Have Tough Conversations

SHOW NOTES: Episode 24

Are you ready to fully dive in to how to have tough conversations?

This is part 3 of the Direct Communication Series, so be sure to listen to part 1 and part 2 before diving in to this episode. Today I’m sharing how to have these tough conversations. I give you steps to take and tips on how to make these conversations smoother and more effective.

How to Have Tough Conversations:

1. Take the time to prepare by setting a date.

Find a date that works for both of you and set a date, time, and place. It’s important to do this on neutral ground. Meet at a coffee shop or for lunch somewhere which helps the conversation be a little more relaxed. By setting a date, it helps the other person to not feel blindsided by this conversation. You want to make sure that everybody knows that this conversation is about to happen.

2. Affirm your relationship with this person.

This means that you tell them why this conversation is important to you and why you’re wanting to have this conversation. Communicate very clearly what your desires are for this conversation.

3. Begin with yourself.

First of all, ask yourself the purpose of this conversation. What is your motivation behind having this conversation? Then, share with this person what you’re feeling. If you want someone to listen to you and what you are saying, tell them about you. Don’t tell them about them. This makes their defenses immediately go up. This is a good time to “name your elephants” (go back and listen to episode 12).

4. Do not use the words: never, always, and you.

These are words that make conversations hard and immediately cause others to become defensive.

5. Clarify.

When they are talking, make sure that you clarify what they are saying. Ask them what exactly they mean by what they are saying. You can even say “I heard that this way, is that what you meant?” If you disagree with something, try to go into this with the mindset that you want to gain some understanding about where they’re coming from.

I want you to have the tools to approach these tough conversations and move forward!

Tune in if you’re ready to learn more and be sure to let me know your thoughts on this series over on Instagram: @marandakirk

***If you’re needing someone to help you practice this or talk through this, sign up for a coaching call with me (details in the episode). The link to book this call is below.***


  • How to have tough conversations

  • 5 steps to having tough conversations



Life’s greatest joy and greatest pain come in our relationships with others.  God created us for relationships so it's no surprise that we learn best how to navigate them…together! 

On Relationships Unraveled, we will create an inviting atmosphere for conversations that goes below the surface!  We will unravel stories and relationship dynamics of all kinds (God, Self, and Others), through honest and practical conversations that shock the norm to create new perspectives and understanding! I am your host, Maranda Kirk, and I use my faith in Jesus, passion, life experiences, and training as a life coach and Enneagram coach, to unravel ideas around relationships. 

On this show, we will talk honestly and practically about relationship dynamics we all face, so we can live the life we were created for, be an inspiring example to others, and ultimately fan the flame of relational wellness!  I learn and grow tremendously from the conversations I’m having with people, so I want to bring you along, in hopes that, by listening in, you will feel supported as you are challenged and encouraged to apply new ideas, understanding or skills to the relationships in your life and begin making the changes you desire! By experiencing small wins, we create momentum as we make progress!

Given my heart for conversations and relationships, I want to hear from you, connect with you, and cover the topics you want to learn more about! Connect with me on my website where you can join my email list,  Find me on Instagram @marandakirk and Facebook @Maranda Kirk - Relationships Unraveled


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