Divorce mediation or divorce negotiations include difficult conversations. Often, there is no diplomatic way to have these conversations. An employer firing a friend or relative is a difficult conversation. Telling your in-laws that they are over-bearing is a difficult conversation. Delivering a difficult message is like lobbing a hand grenade; even if it is coated with honey and softly thrown, it will still do some damage. And failure to carry through that difficult conversation is like holing onto the hand grenade after the pin has been pulled. Just remember, difficult conversations are just normal experiences we have during our lifetimes.
Recognize that difficult conversations do not involve feelings - their very core is feelings. It is a failure to not recognize that the discuss is emotional and both parties must understand their own emotional response and well as the emotions of the other person regarding their emotions. Be aware of you own feelings - shame, disappointment, confusion, pride, anger, expectations - and those of the other side.
Addressing your own emotions and recognizing the other's emotions helps decipher the difficult discussion. Just think about the emotions in discussing custody of children. The emotional need to be considered as a perfect parent or the better one blocks one from discussing what is best for the children. The pride of building a home interferes with a realistic discussion concerning what should happen to the family home.
Difficult conversations are best when one explores the story of both sides. That's is what occurs in divorce mediation. Both parties are encouraged to describe their story - their reality and how they view the point under discussion. I am always amazed to hear two sides to the same story after each person describes his or her reality. Often, hearing your own story and the other person's reality can help parties recognize a path to finding a resolution.