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Having “Difficult” Conversations – A Self-Coaching Approach To Get Clear, Unstuck & Ready To Roll!

“I’m going to decline a job offer, but I don’t want to jeopardize my relationship with the hiring manager”.

“I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed, but I’m afraid to bring it up with my manager”.

“I overcommitted when I said yes, but how do I turn this around without disappointing my friend?”

These are some of the scenarios’ clients brought to their coaching session recently. All 3 scenario’s have something in common: A “difficult” conversation is to be had and the client feels uncomfortable about that.

I put the word “difficult” in quotation marks because this adjective is a subjective interpretation. It prompts curiosity in me: What makes th

is difficult? It’s not the situation itself; it’s the thoughts, ideas, assumptions, and expectations we have. It’s like looking at the situation through a lens of “difficult”, which will likely evoke discomfort and a hesitance to address the issue head-on.

Organizing our thoughts can have a calming effect and helps us prepare to have an “effective” conversation. What follows is a series of self-coaching questions you can answer to Get Clear, Unstuck & Ready To Roll. Grab a pen and some paper, turn of your phone and simply start writing:


· What do I want to address in the conversation?

· What’s the essence of what I want to bring across, what is this really about?


· Why do I want or need to have this conversation?

· Why now?


· What’s the ideal outcome of this conversation?

· What of that is within my control? What isn’t?

· HINT: How the other person responds is not within your direct control.


· What characteristics and behaviors do I want to bring forward in this conversation?

· What kind of person do I want to be in this conversation?

· HINT: All of the above is always within your control, regardless of how the other person responds, and regardless of how you feel.


· What assumptions am I making? About the situation? About the other person’s intentions? About myself?

· What else might be true?

· If my assumptions are true, what’s the worst that can happen? How would I deal with that?

What “difficult” conversation are you putting off? Hope this helped you get Ready to Rock & Roll!


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