7 Steps to sharing something people don’t want to hear

We have had a lot of people asking how they can approach somebody they know about how critical car seats are without putting them on the defensive. There is a delicate balance when sharing something important with somebody you care about, when you know they won’t want to hear it.

The most important advice is to be both firm and gentle in your approach to sharing. This is known as empathically asserting yourself. What does empathy mean? It means trying to understand another person’s feelings, needs or wants.

When we assert ourselves empathetically, we are conveying sensitivity and recognition of the other person’s feelings and viewpoints. Communicating in this way is incredibly important as it directly impacts openness to feedback, especially when you are talking to someone about making changes in their lives.

sharing tough-info

Here are 7 steps to use when sharing sensitive information

1. Short and Sweet
Keep the conversation short. The best way to do this is to go in with a plan. A planned conversation allows you to stay focused, and to prepare all the facts.

2. Avoid Fuzzy
Keep the conversation clear and direct. This allows you to express yourself in an open and honest way.

3. Stay Positive
Keep the conversational tone positive. How you say something can be as important as what you say.

4. Value Others
Keep the conversation judgement free. This message is more than just sharing information, it is about life change. To create life change, we need to create connection. With judgement, there can be no connection.

5. Stay CALM

Keep your own feelings in check. Be aware of how you feel, and be in control of how you feel. Always remember to PAUSE if the conversation is becoming heated.

Remember this is not about you and how you feel. It about getting the message across to as many people as you can.

6. Watch Non-verbal Language
Try to maintain an even tone of voice and make as much eye contact as you can. And remember to keep your body relaxed and open. Our body language should reinforce our message, not contradict it.

7. Listen
Communicating effectively is more about listening than it is about talking.

Passion is great. Believing in something is awesome. Knowing everything you can about what you beieve in and are passionate about is so important. Sharing it in a way that allows you to help others to understand what you are saying and why you are sharing it, in order to get them to change their behaviour, takes planing and sensitivity.

“If you just communicate, you can get by. But, if you communicate skilfully, you can work miracles” – Jim Rohn.

Be sure to SHARE!

You have the power to save a little life. One share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life. #CarseatFullstop


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Kathryn de Gouveia

Clinical Psychologist, Clinical DIrector

Kathryn is a happily married mom of the beautiful 1-year-old Isabella. She has a BA in Psychology from Stellenbosch, and Honours in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in Play Therapy from Unisa. She has also completed courses in Trauma Therapy, Working with Children, Sand Trays, Art Therapy, Drama Therapy, Internet Gaming Addiction, Mindfulness, Meditation and Schema Therapy.

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