Difficult Conversation Practice

Prepare for difficult or challenging conversations.

A difficult conversation is a discussion between two or more people where:

  1. The stakes are high
  2. Opinions differ
  3. Emotions run strong
  4. The outcome significantly impacts their lives and there is significant risk of negative consequences

There are many different forms of crucial conversations, for example, you may need to deal with lazy or disrespectful colleagues or you may need to speak up when you think there is a flaw in a project proposal.

In real life, we only get one shot. In rehearsal, we can try as many different ways of having the conversation until it feels right.

After discussing the situation and your goals, you identify options you’d like to try out. You then practice the conversation with the coach, who plays the other person in your conversation. The coach gives you feedback on how you did and specific, actionable advice on what to do differently.

In summary:

  • Rehearse difficult conversations or situations.
  • The coach plays the other person in the conversation.
  • Coaching on effectiveness and impact.
  • Pause and re-start the conversation at any moment.
  • Avoid paralysis by analysis – make progress by doing.
  • For individuals or small groups.

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