Conflicts are serious and important, so you can’t afford to simply “wing it.”
Some people have really great “people skills,” they are generally liked by most people so they are very comfortable around others. They might neglect thinking through what they need to say because they believe their above average verbal skills will easily smooth things over. Often the result is a superficial conversation lacking in power.
Some people avoid confrontation–even to the point of not wanting to think about it! Once the issue becomes unavoidable, a conversation happens but it lacks wisdom. To dermine what you need to say, here are a few things to consider:
First, determine your goal. What’s is the outcome you are looking to achieve? There are a countless selfish goals you could work towards, but prayerfully consider what God is directing you to do. Working through step 4 should set the general direction of your conversation, this step works out the specifics.
Second, write it out. Even if it’s just a few bullet points, take the time to give shape to your thoughts. Keep it brief: “The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?” (Ecclesiastes 6:11) You may want to bring your notes to the conversation, but even if you don’t, it’s still a good idea to capture what you are feeling and thinking. You may need to write out all the terrible stuff too–things you know you shouldn’t say, but want to.
Finally, consider how they might respond. Engage your imagination and try to predict how the other person will hear what you have to say. This will allow you to say things in the best possible way so that you might be heard. Additionally, thinking through different scenarios will prepare you for where ever the conversation might lead.
All of this is a lot of work, I know, but it’s worth the effort.