This month, we have been posting about our 5 “non-negotiables” (aka NNs). “Naming the elephants” has been a challenge of mine in the past. But I’ve learnt you have to name it to tame it!
By naming and addressing the ‘elephant’, we’re less likely to experience dissonance, become resentful of others or our circumstances and we are more likely to overcome challenges and make progress.
I met a client recently who was trying to prepare herself for a difficult conversation. She acknowledged her husband probably knew it was coming but neither felt ready to address it and the tension between them was growing.
I suggested the following to her:
- Think optimistically. Frame the conversation assuming a positive outcome. If you believe things will go terribly, your attitude may influence the tone and mood of your conversation.
- You can’t control what your ex does, only how you respond or react to them. Minimise conflict by staying calm and focused. This will help the other person stay calm and centred too.
- Take into account the other’s person’s point of view. What are their fears, concerns, and how might they feel about the situation?
“With a sweet tongue and kindness, you can drag an elephant with a single hair.” – Persian proverb