Emotions are always on the table


Tough conversations are tough. The reason they are tough is because of emotions, both yours and the other person's. 

If only we could not have to worry about emotions, hey! The whole thing would be a tonne easier if we could just take emotions off the table and talk about the facts at hand.

Unfortunately though our brains are hard-wired differently. Our emotional centres fire at 80,000 times faster than our rational-fact-loving-cognitive thinking brains. 

So emotions are always on the table. The key to success in these tough conversations is being able to acknowledge and shift emotional states for great outcomes. 

The state that you take 100% responsibility for is your own state. How you turn up to the conversation will make a substantial difference to how the conversation goes. 



One of the emotions that may be present for you is anxiety.

How’s this conversation going to go? What if they don’t take it well? What if I don’t get my point across? What if it all blows up worse than it is now? 

You can find yourself down a rabbit-warren of fear and catastrophising in 30 seconds flat. 



When you notice these thoughts happening the goal is to come back to calm. Now calm is not ‘everything is fabulous’, zen-master sitting on top of a mountain type image - calm is really about being focused on what needs to happen whilst reducing heightened emotions that may arise. 

The following are a few anxiety thinking patterns and ways to shift into calm thinking patterns: 


Whilst they may not love the conversation, it’s important to talk this through and it’s possible the outcome will be better anyway


Nothing will change unless we can talk through this situation

This conversation is important and I’ve got the tools to work through it


I’m nervous because I care and I believe we can work through this


I can express how this is impacting me personally. Even if my voice shakes this is still an important conversation to have. 


They're going to take this badly 



This isn't going to change anything


I'm hopeless at these conversations


I'm just so anxious



They’ll think I’m weak if I appear nervous


If you notice emotions start to run high during the conversation, create a pause. 

Learn how to take a deep, belly breaths and simply pause the conversation. Three seconds is often long enough to have an impact on your physiology and reduce the anxiety chemicals in your body. 

Just breathe. Pause. Come back to the conversation. 

** Note if you need to create an actual break from the conversation know that you can do this. Take two minutes to stand, grab a cuppa or a glass of water, and come back to the conversation in a bit, this can be enough to shift your state too. 


But before you leave this page, we have...

Extra Goodies: 

Five Steps To Calm Your Brain - article