WEST Wisdom Blog

Tips for Difficult Conversations

Posted by WEST Board Member on Sep 24, 2018 4:33:58 PM

Ugh. Another set of sleepless nights full of anxiety getting ready for a difficult conversation. Whether the conversation involves providing feedback to a colleague or involves asking your boss for a long overdue promotion and pay raise, you just know it is going to be difficult. And stressful.

But… fear not, there REALLY ARE ways to reduce some of the anxiety.

Start out a few days in advance of your difficult conversation by identifying the key messages you want to convey, and write them down, multiple times! Rehearse how you want to deliver each of your main points, not just in your head, rehearse out loud, so you can monitor the cadence of your voice to get it just right. Then anticipate the various reactions you may elicit – good reactions, bad reactions, and everything in between. Think how you want to respond in each of the different scenarios. And then role play the different scenarios over and over and over again to practice, practice, practice. If you practice enough, you will feel confident in your ability to guide the conversation to an outcome that suits you. It is pretty unlikely that it will ever be an anxiety-free event, but being fully prepared will give you the courage to be in full control of the situation and to steer the conversation to the conclusion you want. You may even be surprised…. practicing how to articulate your points clearly and confidently may even result in the recipient seeing your point of view immediately, thereby reducing stress all round!

Come and join WEST (Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology www.westorg.org) at our October 2nd workshop in Cambridge. We are delighted to host Sue Williamson, an Executive Coach who will share with the WEST community her top 5 tips for preparing for the most challenging of conversations. Sue will tell us how to recognize our personal emotional triggers before they happen, and how to keep negative feelings under control so that difficult messages can be converted into achieving the results we want and deserve. This workshop is an incredibly insightful way to enhance overall communication effectiveness, and will provide another excellent opportunity for peer networking.

We look forward to seeing you!


The WEST Board


Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology

Promoting Women’s Careers, Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders

#WESTcommunication #WESTWomenInStem #WESTorg


Click here to learn more about  the event and get registered 

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