Five Tips for Tough Conversations

How to be Successful with Difficult Conversations

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Ever been stuck approaching a challenging conversation? 

You know the kind, it’s one you’d rather put off than have, could be personal or professional, but it’s one you play over and over in your head to rehearse before approaching it. Me too! 

What works? Here are 5 ways to make it easier: 

  1. If you do well with getting thoughts on paper, write it out and extract main points. 
  1. As you plan for the conversation, think about what you want as a result. Now think of what the other person would want. Begin with common ground, there is always some overlap between what you and they want. 
  1. Role play. I know, I know, it gets a bad rap like Nickelback, but it works. When you’ve said something before, even if one time, you can work out the bugs and will be more at ease for the real thing. 
  1. If you’re uncomfortable, say so. Begin your conversation with letting the other person know this is a challenging thing for you to do and then say it. Be as direct and succinct as you can, kind, not nice.
  1. Be authentic. I’m not being all new age here – be YOU. Don’t look for a recipe or the right words. Speak in a way that is genuine and sincere – the words you use will be secondary. 

For more from Sue Hawkes, go to

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    The same way you would grab an umbrella if there is rain in the forecast, you should have a plan to protect yourself from the inevitable storm of the holidays and/or your relatives that are triggers for you.

    5 Ways To Optimize Mental Wellness During Stressful Family Gatherings, With Stephanie L. Roth-Goldberg

    by A.N. Gibson

    Sometimes It’s Best to Have Those Uncomfortable Conversations

    by Freedom Institute

    Problems at Work or Home? You May Need a HardTalk

    by Rodger Dean Duncan
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.