Nevertheless, approaching difficult conversations is not only an important workplace skill, it could also be what enables your next step forward, said Sarah Sheehan, Bravely's chief customer officer, who co-founded the company with Hervey as a platform for confidential professional advice.
She outlined three tips to prepare yourself for a difficult conversation at work.
1. Consider viewpoints beyond your own
"It's easy to think about yourself and only yourself when you're dealing with something challenging at work, but take the time to think through how someone might see it from the other side, and whether certain circumstances could be creating the situation at hand," said Sheehan.
Your manager is a person, too, noted Sheehan, so sometimes the best thing you can do is to put yourself in their shoes and try to think things through from a new perspective.
2. Expect the best, but prepare for the worst
While you will be hoping for the best possible resolution to your conversation, it's helpful to prepare yourself for a potential negative outcome. That way, you will be better able to keep your emotions in check and avoid escalating the situation, Sheehan noted.
"Try to think through the worst-case scenarios and prepare for how you might respond in that situation. That way, you might be less likely to react with emotion," she said.
3. Say it out loud
Finally, try rehearsing the conversation, either to yourself or someone else, to hone your message and perfect your delivery, said Sheehan.
"It will no doubt feel awkward at first," she said, adding that "forcing yourself to say the words will help you hone how you deliver it, control the tone (which is super important!), and ensure you stick the landing."
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