Difficult conversations are all part and parcel of working life.
From asking for a promotion to dealing with a frustrating colleague, we're each bound to face countless tricky discussions throughout the course of our careers.
But instead of avoiding those moments, learning how to tackle them head-on can be one of the best ways to advance your career, according to the British Council Professional Development Centre, which runs training courses on workplace communication.
It has identified 10 simple steps which it says can be applied across the board to help make potentially awkward encounters go more smoothly.
"Difficult conversations, although hard for both parties, enable people to make choices and decisions, to learn and to grow, and can enable breakthroughs in relationships which can be incredibly productive and positive," the educational organization said in a training note.
"You have to be sensitive to the company and the culture," Amanda Moody, director of the development group's Singapore arm, told CNBC Make It. "But these tips can be applied to many different scenarios and age groups."
Here are the 10 tips and how to put them to work: