I can’t think of many people who enjoy having a difficult conversation with someone else – whether it be personal or professional. But, with my experience in Human Resources, interviewing others and also individually coaching others, I have discovered one powerful tip that can help ease your stress when having to prepare for a difficult conversation…
Role Play Different Scenarios
When you prepare and practice all the different scenarios that could happen, you increase your comfortability heading into it – you are becoming more aware of the “What ifs?” that often cause a majority of the stress. Here is how you can practice and prepare for your difficult conversation:
- Write down what you plan to say to this person. Make sure you are including the “Why? What? How?” You should know why you are approaching them, what you hope will come of the conversation and how you think it will help.
- After you have a rough idea of what you want to say, it is now time to plan for the “What if everything doesn’t go as planned?” This is where you write down ALL of the different ways you think the person you’re speaking to will react.
- Next, write down all of the different ways you can respond to the reactions you listed in Step 2. This will help you prepare for a graceful and well-thought response to what the person says to you. By preparing for ways to respond, you are eliminating the risk of being caught off guard, which can easily cause defenses to rise and things to escalate quickly.
- Find someone you trust to role play the different scenarios listed above with you.
- Practice and repeat as much as you need.
Remember, the conversation could go exactly as planned or it could go off path a bit. The best thing you can do is prepare on your end and come from a place of good intention. You can do this! If you have any questions regarding a personal situation that pertains to this post and you would like to connect, please do not hesitate to contact me!