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How to have difficult conversations

Difficult conversations. I’ve had lots of them, as I’m sure you have.

There was a time when I’d avoid them like the plague. Particularly when it involved feeding back to someone who I didn’t really get on with, or who was higher up the food chain than me.

I didn’t plan for these kinds of conversations. As I say, I’d avoid them and then some random thing would set me off. I’d explode. Not be particularly constructive or precise. Make the other person angry and ultimately, make a bad situation worse.

Then, in 2004, I went on a development programme for facilitators. The feedback I received, along with the various models, have stood me in good stead since then. Since then, I’ve honed my approach to having difficult conversations and helped countless others do the same, through coaching and consulting.

There are six things I’ve found that can make the difference…

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