Hard Conversations

Two people having a difficult conversation, one with hands bunched together receiving feedback and the other with palms open giving feedback

Having difficult conversations is…well…difficult! We are often faced with the need to have a difficult conversation. This may be with a colleague, a partner or a friend. Often many of us shy away from this as it feels too confronting. We let it go and hope that the situation will fix itself. However, it doesn’t need to be like this.

Mel Robbins is a motivational speaker, author and coach. Her social media platforms inspire more than 60 million people every month and her TEDx Talk is one of the most popular of all time, with more than 18 million views. In this video, Mel speaks about a practical tool that can help us all have those difficult conversations we don’t want to have. It’s a simple yet effective framework that will help you to structure your approach and content, build up your courage and use the strategy that will help you to achieve the outcomes you are hoping.

Being on the receiving or giving end of a difficult conversation is tough and uncomfortable, however we can embrace this as an opportunity to honour others so that they may continue to grow and evolve in new ways, and affirm ourselves as leaders who dare to work through obstacles rather than finding ways around them.

Download a transcript of the above video (Word, 20.6KB)

What can you do?

  1. In this video Mel speaks about the four steps that are important with difficult conversations. These are:
    1. Acknowledge responsibility
    2. Define outcome
    3. Listen and validate
    4. Restate the outcome

Think about a time when you wanted to have a difficult conversation, but you didn’t feel comfortable doing so. Find a quiet space, or ask a friend or family member to help you to role play this conversation. By pretending you are providing feedback to someone using the four stages mentioned, you will start to understand how to bring these concepts to life. It may also help to cement the learnings should you need to use these in the future.

  1. Giving feedback is important, but so is receiving it. When someone provides you with feedback that feels uncomfortable, how did you respond? Think about the four steps mentioned by Mel and ask yourself how you would feel on the receiving end of feedback. Would you respond differently if the feedback was given in a professional situation vs a personal one?
  2. Vision Australia staff are qualified practitioners who can help you to develop skills such as having hard conversations and receiving feedback. You can see options on how you can connect with us through our webpage or by calling 1300 84 74 66.