Speak From The Heart

Difficult conversations with difficult people come in all sorts of situations and circumstances.  Often they involve a sensitive topic, and we worry about finding the perfect time and perfect place to approach it.

So how do you engage in a difficult conversation with a difficult person?

The answer is in the heart.

Anything that can be felt can be communicated, and anything that can be communicated can be managed.

My method of Redden Mit h’arz, translated from Yiddish, means “speak from the heart.” It can help you keep things positive and productive when entering a difficult conversation with a difficult person.

Speaking from the heart is not about the right time or place but about doing the right thing. It does not need to be role-played or practiced, because it comes straight from the heart.

Here are the fundamental:

1. Be available: listen without having an agenda or assumptions.

Don’t think Here we go again—I will never get a chance to speak.

2. Show attentiveness: listen deeply to everything that is being said. Don’t be dismissive.

Don’t think Same as always—he always has to be right .

3. Express with articulation: Repeat what was said, with vivid and great articulation.
Make it so vivid and expressive that your partner says, “Wow, you get me. I wish I had put it that way.”

Don’t think I’ve heard this a thousand times before.

4. Accept and acquiesce: Let your partner know you understand his side completely.

Don’t think I can never have a say because he won’t let me state my point.

5. Learn to acquire: Tell your partner all the things that you’ve just learned from listening to him. Sincerely let him know what you have learned from the conversation.

Don’t think He always thinks he knows everything.

By now, you have placed your difficult conversation with a difficult person in a different context.

You have made room for acknowledgment, appreciation, and approval.

Speak from the heart. Open the space for being heard.

When you speak from the heart the communication is about the other, not so much about you.

When you speak from the heart it is not about reacting but about being interactive.

When you speak from the heart it’s not about frustration but about staying engaged and connected.

When you speak from the heart there are no assumptions or judgment. You are just relating on a deeper level.

When in a bind, allow the heart to lead and let the mind follow.

Speak your mind but let your heart do the talking.

Lead from Within: In business, as in life, difficult conversations happen—with employees, peers, bosses, suppliers and customers, and with a partner or spouse, children, friends. To ignore or handle them badly can bring irreversible damage. Let the heart speak where difficulty resides.



N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. LaRae Quy

    24. Sep, 2013

    Loved this article, Lolly. I especially liked “speak your mind but let your heart do the talking.” A great piece of wisdom.

    My challenges are in listening to another person without thinking to myself “here we go again.” Listening without an agenda is the most difficult for me…and that is because my mind is leading the discussion! Taming that mind to behave and stay in its place is hard for me 🙁

    It comes down to communication, and it being a two-way street. We need to communicate our feelings, and we need to be heard.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      27. Sep, 2013

      you are so right communication is a two way street and how we walk that path is was matters.

      Thanks LaRae for your insightful wisdom.


      Reply to this comment
  2. Sam

    24. Sep, 2013

    ” Speak your mind but let your heart do the talking.” Is a brilliant phrase.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Terri Klass

    24. Sep, 2013

    This post has such great wisdom, Lolly!

    When our intentions are to just listen and not judge, we can have meaningful conversations and build authentic relationships.

    I love: “When you speak from the heart it is not about reacting but about being interactive.” There is no need for defensiveness or anger when we have conversations with our heart; just an exchange where two people give value to what each one has to say.


    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      27. Sep, 2013


      you are so right when we have a conversation its an exchange where two people give value to what they each have to say.

      and that interest is called HAVING HEART

      Thanks. Terri for your added wisdom.


      Reply to this comment
  4. Jon Stallings

    24. Sep, 2013

    Very important topic Lolly. I recently read the book “Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High” One of the things they authors suggest is that you make sure whatever you say keeps the conversation going.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Alli Polin

    24. Sep, 2013

    When we speak from the heart, we’re one person talking to another person – no titles, no hierarchy, no need to be right trumping the conversation. In the moment, when I feel the pull of “here we go again” I’ll remember your words. Thanks, Lolly!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      27. Sep, 2013

      To speak from the heart is the essence of caring for another.

      When we want to say here we go again, we must remember we are dealing out humanness of another being.

      SPEAKING FROM THE HEART is showing love to humanity.

      Thanks Alli for stopping by I do love your thoughts!


      Reply to this comment
  6. Panteli Tritchew

    25. Sep, 2013

    Great post Lolly. When we have a difficult situation, conversation or person to speak with, it’s because politics, ideology, beliefs, values, or opinions have clashed. These all originate from the mind (ego).

    In these cases, speaking from the heart cuts through (or transcends) this tangled web and brings the conversation to its simplist and most human level.

    Wishing you a wonderful day, from the heart. P.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Dan

    25. Sep, 2013

    So beautiful, Lolly. Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  8. Karin Hurt

    27. Sep, 2013

    Great article. I love all the examples of negative subtext to beware of. It’s easy to let our thinking cloud our ability to show up and realy listen.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      27. Sep, 2013

      Dear Karin,

      Thanks for your kind words. Our thinking gets in the way of development.

      we say we want to change, we want to be better, but our patterns get in the way.

      Listen deeply to ourselves always works


      Reply to this comment
  9. Joe Hodgson

    27. Sep, 2013

    Well spoken, Lolly!

    Reply to this comment
  10. john paul

    27. Sep, 2013

    You have a beautiful heart. The wisdom you share, Lolly, is so true. Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Tasneem Hameed

    28. Sep, 2013

    It is a great implementation of Emotional Intelligence Lolly. It is an established fact that the involvement of heart in any matter makes it genuine and acceptable. It is all a question of first understanding the feelings, empathizing, and then expressing yours in a heart to heart conversation. But unfortunately most of us find it time consuming and try to do it mechanically and when it does not work pronounce our negative judgment about the person.
    Thanks for reminding us again about the value of heart in our lives.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Linda

    14. Oct, 2013

    I just saw this article and I agree when you are dealing with difficult or sensitive topics it is best to speak from the heart. It is difficult to mis-understand what someone means when it comes from the heart.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Ruth Rooney

    16. Nov, 2013

    Great insights, thank you! I would add that sometimes it does help to practice what you want to say out loud so you can be sure the words speak your hearts intent. Ruth

    Reply to this comment
  14. Jacquie

    25. Aug, 2014

    Hi there colleagues, pleasant piece of writing and good arguments commented here,
    I am really enjoying by these.

    Reply to this comment

    02. Mar, 2017

    “speak your mind but let your heart do the talking.” A great piece of wisdom. i find this article very important because : when you speak from your Heart to him Heart ALL goes a direct and a live

    Reply to this comment
  16. James J. Sanfilippo, Account Executive, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

    06. May, 2017

    Another excellent article from Ms. Daskal.
    My take from the article:
    If you care about others, you will listen and be honest when you speak. Caring comes from the heart. This is good advice for workplace and private conversations.

    Reply to this comment
  17. match

    29. Aug, 2017

    Wow, this piecе оf writing iѕ good, mʏ sister is analyzing thesе kinds of things, therefore I am going to
    tеll her.

    Reply to this comment

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