The difference between a fight, and a constructive conversation, all lies in where you choose to focus.
For example, I had a couple in my office recently, and the conversation between them quickly turned argumentative with one accusing the other of ‘always being disrespectful about my family’.
Before they could spiral downward I asked one quick question, and the conversation turned on its heels from an accusatory, frustrating argument, to a solution focused and complimentary discussion.
I asked this: “If both of you were able to be at your absolute best the next time this topic of family comes up, how might the conversation look different?”
And together, we made a list of close to 40 things they would notice about that conversation including things like being patient, listening, being respectful, and even walking away for a minute if it got heated. When they left that appointment they were both smiling, laughing and planning a fun night out together.
From problem talk to solution talk, in 1.3 seconds.