Day 1: How to Have Hard Conversations.

Being in relationship with others & finding yourself needing to engage in a difficult conversation can be absolutely nerve wrecking.  I personally begin to feel the tightening in my chest, my lovely stomach feels like its in so many knots that I lose my appetite. Usually my loss of appetite will bring me down further, because I am now unable to use it as a way to comfort myself.  The irony behind this is, I feel these similar jitters anytime I am about to engage in any leadership task/opportunity.

Being in a leadership is not something that we should take lightly.  It can be easy for your ego to become inflated & the reality is that when you are working in relationship to others, a less egotistical approach & overall way of being is always best.

There have been a couple of instances in my ever expanding career & personal life where I came to realize that my leadership was being challenged. There were cases where I was able to take it well & other cases where I gave into my very human reaction.  Whether my leadership was being challenged, because I am the youngest in my community of peers, or because I was a womyn, or because I was queer, I decided to go develop, & hone the skills needed in order to find better ways to respond.

Breathing became my best friend. 

  • Yes, I was one of the many people that developed the habit of holding their breath when in a state of trigger. When you don’t breathe. you can’t think! We are emotional beings & we need to be able to think clearly so we don’t fall into impulsive decision making.

Journal, Sketch & Journal some more!

  • I am daydreamer & I love writing so this became a beautiful merger. My thoughts & ideas are often going a mile a minute, fueled by excitement, that it can become over whelming. Organizing my thoughts & being able to log & reflect on where I am serves to hold me accountable to what it is I am trying to achieve.

Concrete examples.

  • It helps to be authentic.  Do your best to paint an accurate picture of what is playing out in front of you.  The hard truth is what’s needed for the work to take root.

Trust & Boundaries.

  • Learning to trust my own instincts is worth every bit of difficulty that I experience in order to build my confidence.  If you need the extra support, remember to set the boundaries & agreements around how the discussion needs be had in order for parties involved to really hear one another.

These are just a few insights into what I have found works for me. Maybe some of these practices will help you. Maybe you need more or you have other practices that you want share that have been essential in your growth & leadership?  Either way, I welcome your thoughts & encourage you to share some practices, that you use, when engaging in hard conversations.

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