Do you love difficult conversations? The high stakes ones?

I don’t think so.

During my career, I had to have many such conversations with individuals around performance, role redundancy, work ethics etc. In the beginning I used to be nervous. But then I became a pro in handling my anxiety, stress and emotions.

After the conversation, what I generally heard : “I am so grateful that you see me as a person first.”

Tip 1: In any difficult conversation become clear on your final outcome but don’t get fixated on the path. Every situation and individual are unique. Write down pointers.

Tip 2: Acknowledge your humanity with them and honor theirs. I begin by acknowledging why they may be struggling and at the same time acknowledging while I do understand, I cannot accept.

Tip 3: Empathise and no more blaming.

Tip 4: Give the other person a chance to speak and listen attentively.

Bonus tip: Speak to 3 people who have a different perspective than you to make sure you are not caught up in your own prison or perspective. Make sure 2 of the 3 are NOT your friends.

The above tips are true for difficult conversations in non work life too.

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