As a therapist that specializes in relationships, one of the most common things clients ask me about is how to start and have conversations with people in their lives. Whether it’s their partners, bosses, friends, parents, or anyone else, it can feel daunting to have a conversation about something important and potentially difficult.
How do you start it? How do you express your thoughts and feelings in a way that doesn’t sound accusatory? How do you express what you want to be different without just saying, “change your behavior, k thanks!”
Well, look no further. I’ve got you covered.
Combining a handful of communication techniques and theories, I’ve come up with a three-step framework (that actually has four steps) to help you have a conversation with anyone in your life. This technique has been used by CEOs, kids, parents, and educators — literally anyone can use this. The acronym for this framework is AEO, which stands for acknowledge, explain, and offer. But before you jump into AEO, there is one other step.
Ready? Let’s go.