• Ruth Esau

Smart Talk - Tips and Tools


Exercise - Pay attention to the SMART TALK process in your situation.

Think of a conversation that you need to have.

Describe what you know about it and name the emotions you are feeling about it.

Walk through this 5 step process in preparation for the conversation.

At the end of this process:

What have you discovered?

What information is missing?

What tools do you need to lead through this conversation?

What is your desired outcome in this conversation?


1. Suspend Objectifying.... See the Person

The Question

How do you recognize when you have objectified a another person?

What do I know of this persons story that influences this situation?

Where am I objectifying them by negating who they are, how they might be feeling?

To objectify is to remove another persons humanity and see them as an object.


2. Suspend Judgement Engage Curiosity

The Question

What am I wondering and am I willing to voice that wondering even if I feel it makes me look less?

How am I internally managing my left brain cynicism and rightness?

How am I willing to use curiosity and it’s innocent wonder to mine for the conflict for greater understanding?

To judge is to make a pronouncement from my perspective.


3. Suspend solutions...Active Listening

The Question

Am I paying attention to the other persons body posture, comfort or discomfort, attitude and behaviours?

Am I allowing these observations to enable me to hear what they are saying or are these observations hitting a hot button for me which is causing me to not hear?

When I am not hearing, how do I take control of my mind so I do not react and create an unsafe space?


4. Suspend Assumptions ... Drive to Clarity

The Question

What am I assuming to know because of information I have received?

What are the facts alone?

What information am I missing? Where will I find it?


5. Suspend I Must be Right...Blend Perspectives

The Question

What are the three perspectives represented?

Yours, Mine, and the Situation.

What does each perspective demand and how can we blend these perspectives for the greater good?


Celebrate the win for all!

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