How To Survive A Tough Conversation


There is no use in pretending that tough conversations don’t exist! And we can promise you that avoiding these type of encounters doesn’t make them any easier — if anything it just prolongs the problem!

Tough conversations are typically centered around difficult or uncomfortable topics. For any business owner, talking about money can be challenging. Maybe a disconnect in performance expectations or an overwhelming sense that you’re providing more than you are receiving, can create barriers for a productive conversation. 

So, whats a doll to do when you’re faced with having a difficult conversation with a client, employee, or even a fellow business owner? Our CEO + Head Doll, Caroline, struggles with these conversations, too. Here are a few of our best tips for how to tackle these tough talks! 

Leave your emotions behind

First and foremost, never (and we mean NEVER) write an email or pick up the phone when you are angry or upset. Emotions shouldn’t play a role in your conversation. Your feelings (and most likely, the other party’s feelings) are at stake here, but they shouldn’t be an active participant in your discussion. Instead, take a deep breath, focus, and remember to use your “I’’ statements and not “You” statements.


The last thing you want to do is leave a bitter taste in someone’s mouth, so stay away from phrases that make them feel like that blame is being placed on them.

You can always find a better way to put the other party at ease, as long as you remember the sweet phrase, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar!” Keeping that quote in mind will automatically aid in your struggle of finding the right words and help you remain calm and clear-headed. 

Remember What you want to achieve

The key to having a successful conversation is to ask yourself, “What do I want the end result to be?” Going in with a clear purpose and open mind is important. Before the meeting take a moment to create an outline of the topics you want to discuss. Having a plan of action helps to relieve any anxiety that surrounds the conversation, and also helps make sure that you don’t forget any of the points you want to touch on.


Put yourself in their shoes

When presenting the problem at hand, do so with an understanding attitude. Imagining what it would be like if the roles were reversed can help you take a much gentler approach when embarking on a tough conversation. By doing this you are making it ten times easier to focus on finding a solution to the problem rather than just addressing it.

Statements like, “I’m sure you understand why this is so frustrating for me,” allows for the other party to in turn put themselves in your shoes. When both of you are able to reverse the roles it often makes reaching a solution that much easier.

Remind them that you are in this together

It is also important to remind the other party that at the end of the day you are on their side. Reaching a solution to the problem at hand doesn’t only benefit you, but it benefits them too! Once the tension is removed everyone is able to go forward with a business relationship that is not only successful but stress free.

Tough conversations are inevitable when you’re a boss babe. But, by walking into the meeting with a plan of action, a positive and open mind and little bit of grace, you can walk away with your best foot forward!


The PR Dolls