I wrote Monday about the most impactful message we heard when we went to Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit this summer.    I came home from the summit inspired, informed, and motivated to apply all of the things.

However I wasn’t expecting for anyone to apply anythings to, well… ME!  Within 24 hours of our return, not one, but two different friends individually decided they needed to have a “crucial conversation” with me.

Actually one of my friends hadn’t even heard the talk at Willow.

Ironic timing?  Or God?  Whatever... In both cases I had been insensitive with these friends.

Actually, that’s too mild.  I had been completely clueless to the impact of my words and actions. Thankfully they were brave enough to say “Um, this is hard, but I care about you, and our friendship is important to me, and there was this time recently…

Both. Individually.  Did I mention this was TWO separate conversations?

And then I received THIS text and thought “NOOOOOOOO!!!” A girl can only take so much!


Fortunately, it was NOT more correction, but still, I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic.

I listened intently to the advice given by Grenny on how to initiate crucial conversations.   But what about when you’re on the receiving end of one?

CLEARLY I’m no expert in this area, but just a fellow stumbler trying to learn.  Here are some things I’m trying to do when I’m on the receiving end of a conversation where someone has told me something hard to hear:

  • Affirm – both my care for the other and their courage in coming directly to me.
  • Question for better understanding.  I want to make really sure I’m hearing what they’re saying – and all 100% of it.
  • Ask forgiveness when appropriate.

One more thing… I often forget in these “Holy buckets this is HARD!” conversations, The Holy Spirit is present and available, just waiting for our “911”.

Romans 8:26 says, “God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.”

The LC translation: It’s gonna be ok.  You’re not alone and this won’t kill you.

What would you say are some good things to remember when you’re on the receiving end of a “crucial conversation”?  What has your experience been?