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Fighting a Final Boss (4/n): The Hard Things about Hard Conversations
Tactical tips to prepare for your next difficult yet necessary conversation
Hi friends! Since mid-July, work has been a doozy.
Enjoy this list of tactics, tips, and lessons learned that I put together after having a series of hard conversations in my personal life.
The longer you delay having them, the harder they become to have due to the anxiety that undoubtedly balloons in size.
You don’t control how others respond to your messaging, no matter how well-prepared you are (or how well-prepared you think you are).
…That said, I recommend preparing ahead of time nonetheless.
Set a deadline for yourself to seed the conversation.
Tell someone you trust about this deadline, and ask them to help you by holding you accountable to that date.
Extra good vibes to your trusted confidante if you can also role-play having the conversation with your accountability buddy.
Practice saying your one sentence that seeds the conversation again and again.
Remind yourself that being vulnerable is a sign of courage—not of weakness.
To me, mustering up the courage to open up reminds me of being on a rollercoaster and reaching the apex of the ride, right at the moment before the large drop.
You might learn the trust that you thought existed between you and your intended audience really doesn’t exist or is insufficient.
You can present your stance from three angles—ethos (your status or authority) logos (logical appeal), or pathos (emotional appeal). Build your deck wisely.
Verbally offer to give the recipient of your message space and time to process.
After opening up the conversation, stop talking, listen, and observe. Then, listen and observe some more.
If your recipient needs time to process your message, let them know you will give them space and time to digest it. Then, step away.
From personal experience, I can attest that the first conversation is the hardest to have. The future hard conversations are by no means easy; however, they feel noticeably less daunting.
I wish you inner strength, courage, and conviction as you prepare for your next hard conversation! 💪
If you know a friend or colleague preparing to have their own tough conversation, consider sharing it with them.