Sensitive Conversations – LifeHack

It can be tricky if you have to approach someone about a sensitive topic. It may be work-related, like their performance, personal hygiene or some aspect of their behaviour. Or it may be personal… the range of topics is limitless.

Use this five-page guide to help you prepare, it includes seven questions to point you in the right direction. There is no substitute for natural empathy and your own creativity, so relax and have a proper conversation.

A sensitive conversation is be anything that you find it difficult to talk about. It may be because the topic is embarrassing, that you fear the other person’s reaction, or you want to spare their feelings; putting it off is unlikely to resolve things. The right preparation can reduce the anguish and avoid unnecessary pain, and this Quick Reference Guide will help you prepare.

Before launching into the discussion it helps first to know what it is you want to achieve. It is also useful to know how you’ll recognise when you have made a sufficient amount of progress; many conversations go on far longer than they need to and often begin to ‘undo’ any progress that has been made.

This guide provides a seven question structure to help you prepare yourself before you have to have the conversation. Knowing exactly what you want to discuss, and how you’ll know when you’ve got the result you want, for example, reduces the likelihood of doing more harm than good. Properly prepared, even the most ticklish subjects can be discussed without blame or hurt.

What you get

  • A five-page instruction manual for sensitive conversations
  • A seven question structure to help you prepare
  • Hints to help you clarify the purpose of the conversation
  • 7 ways to ease a difficult conversation
  • Reading list.

Would you like to know more?

Call Barry Winbolt on +44 (0)1323 895 220 or email

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