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Too Nervous to Have Hard Conversations? Here are 3 Ways to Make it Less Difficult

It is inevitable in life that you will be faced with situations in which it is essential that you have an uncomfortable conversation. Look, I know that you want to be liked. You care about being seen as cooperative and agreeable. I get that it is a risk to come off as unlikable (especially for women). But we all need to face up to reality. Every aspect of our lives that allow us to thrive are threatened if we don’t accept that sometimes we have uncomfortable communication. Let me say it another way: we can’t have integrity, boundaries, morals, character, thoughts and feelings if we aren’t willing to express them when it’s important to do so. Even if other people don’t like what we are saying. Even if it will be awkward or there will be some feelings involved. These     . . . read more

5 Skills for Confident Communication

Do you often leave interactions feeling like you didn’t make your point? Do you feel misunderstood? Do you feel like people don’t really listen to you? It’s time for you to uplevel your communication skills so that you can confidently engage your audience. Whether at work or in your personal life, satisfying connections, effective conversations, and the ability to appropriately influence others are important skills for your overall well-being. Stop wasting your energy on poor quality interactions and up your communication game with these 5 key skills and go-to action steps. Skill #1: Set the intention Be aware and thoughtful in your interactions. I often hear people complain that they are stuck in the same unproductive or unpleasant conversations with people. This is often because we are not actively working to be intentional in these conversations. Here are 3 action     . . . read more

3 Painless Ways to Start a Difficult Conversation

As a communication coach, I find that the most common way people deal with difficult conversations is to avoid them as long as possible. You already know that this is both painful and highly ineffective. It takes a ton of energy to avoid something. The thoughts and feelings take up valuable real estate in our bodies and minds. And nothing changes. The best thing you can do for your well-being, and to improve every relationship you have, is to go forward and engage in those difficult conversations. Getting these conversations started is often the hardest part. Here are 3 tips to make it a little easier to get words to come out of your mouth. 1. Be gentle, calm, and straightforward The way you start the conversation matters. The mantra you need is this: gentle, calm, straight-forward. Here’s what that     . . . read more

Big Fat Lies Smart Women Believe

What if you are making key life decisions based on lies and bad information? I was. I used to think that being exceptional at everything I do, hiding my short-comings, and doing “it all” would get me what I wanted most: confidence, ease, fulfillment and the courage to take on anything. When I was graduating college, I asked my professor, a woman I looked up to, “How does one become confident?” By this time, I’d done the things that I thought would lead to confidence. I was a top student at a top college and a clear goal for my future, wasn’t that the path to confidence? I had gained a lot of competence, but I had not found confidence. Her answer? Fake it until you make it. I wasn’t so sure. It didn’t feel right to me. And if she didn’t have     . . . read more

3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Assholery (Without Saying a Word)

They’re everywhere: the people who suck up energy with their negativity. I bet you hear as many stories as I do about the mean and insensitive things these difficult and exhausting people say and do. Now I understand very well that miserable people are that way for a reason. People make sense in the context of their lives. I absolutely have compassion for them, but not their poor behavior. We need to stop their misery from becoming ours. Love the person (but maybe from a distance) and limit exposure to the behavior. One easy way for their misery to become ours is by being sucked in. The worst of it is when you get caught in their web of manipulation and negativity for months or even years on end. Do you hear that sound? That’s the sound of you being     . . . read more