February is Heart Month. You will no doubt read and hear lots of messages about heart health, healthy diet and exercise, losing weight, lowering cholesterol this month. Heart month for me stimulates a renewed focus on my “Heart to Heart” conversations. When I reflect on the journey my life has taken, the significant steps have started out with a heart to heart.
Heart to Heart conversations are those ones where you stand the most to gain or lose. They bring to the surface those most rewarding and challenging of topics – where to work and live, with whom, when to start or stop or change longstanding activities. They are life changers that can go very well, fail completely or somewhere in between.
In looking at my experience and advice from experts, these are some helpful ideas for your “Heart to Heart” conversations.
· Don’t avoid the conversation, rather embrace the idea of talking openly and imagine how much better you will feel sharing your perspectives.
· Be positive and optimistic, the topic is very likely important to both parties in the discussion.
· Prepare ahead of the conversation. You want to be confidently ready with a problem-solving foundation and not a fluster of raw emotions that spill out in the heat of the moment.
· Show you care and that you are open to discovering new ideas for change.
· If you make a mistake or it goes badly, apologize and try again soon.
There is expert advice for how to prepare for some of the most challenging topics including a wide variety of health decisions, advanced directives for health, when to stop driving, when and where to move and so many more.
Some helpful links:
As we embark on this new Monthly Summit conversation format, I hope that you will be inspired to have the Heart to Heart conversations in your life.
By Alice Berry, Community Outreach Director