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Examples of difficult situations (domestic, social and work)

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Managing Difficult Conversations at Work


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The sort of difficulty I can help with

I am highly skilled and experienced at helping with a particular type of problem: those conversations which, for whatever reason, we find difficult. We know when a conversation is difficult because, usually, we experience bad or negative feelings about the conversation; for instance, we feel uneasy, angry, embarrassed. guilty or misunderstood. I am able to help you deal with this sort of difficulty in whatever context(s) it occurs, whether it is the domestic, social or work context - [have a look at Examples of difficult situations (domestic, social and work) ].

I can help if you know what sort of thing you want to say to the other person, but don't know how to say it while still keeping a satisfactory relationship with that person. That is, I can offer you skills and principles that you can use to be more effective - both with the particular conversation that we might start with and, also, with other difficult conversations that you might have.

I'm not able to help with difficulties that are not directly to do with 'how to say it'. For instance, I am not able to offer help if you are acutely shy and cannot - for this reason - bring yourself even to talk to the other person; or if you are not sure whether you have the moral right to say something to the other person (for instance, about their partner's behaviour). I would be able to help you to say whatever you felt you wanted or needed to say, but you would have to make the decision about whether you should say it. To give a further example, let us say that I am asked to help someone who is having difficulties talking to their youngster. The difficulties come about because the youngster's behaviour is affected by their use of drugs. The parent feels that the youngster has become delusional and self-centred and also tends to lie about the drug taking. I would be able to help the parent to communicate more effectively with the youngster, but I would not offer - or be able to offer - help to do with the youngster's condition (the drug taking, or the effect of this on the youngster's behaviour) itself.

The situation in which I can be most helpful is when you really wish to do something yourself about your difficult conversations - even if you are not feeling optimistic about being able to do this. This is because the way I work is to offer you practical advice and useful principles in such a way that you can use them, yourself, in a practical way. I do not offer therapy (although you may very well find the phone sessions therapeutic) or counselling; I offer you a way to understand your difficulties and the skills to deal with them independently.