How to have a carefully considered courageous conversation – Sally Prescott

By devadmin

“Relationships with the many is easy, it’s the relationship with the ‘one’ that challenges us the most.” - Stephen Covey

I met an inspirational person at a business event whose company takes the physical and mental wellbeing of their people very seriously. We had a great conversation and it was evident that this person’s aim is to make going to work a pleasurable experience for all their employees. They want to create a working environment where employees ‘want’ to go to work every day.

I came away feeling so energised by our conversation. This approach is totally aligned to Zest for Life’s beliefs and aspirations.

Wellbeing is a lifestyle

Ping-Pong tables, beanbags and slides in the office are all fun ways to create a relaxed and enjoyable working environment. I fully support organisations that focus on health and wellbeing in this way, however wellbeing is and needs to be a lifestyle. There’s more to it than allowing your team to take a break and have some fun in an environment they love to work in.

Creating a culture of health and wellbeing is also about embedding a company vision and values. It’s about getting your people to buy in to this and encouraging the behaviours that support it.

In organisations that have true wellbeing at their heart, the whole team at all levels are enriched by the work they do. They feel valued, heard, and feel confident to share their thoughts, questions and concerns. One aspect of this is the ability and confidence to have courageous conversations.

Tackling challenging relationships

Every day there are people who are not looking forward to going to work because of a challenging relationship. It might just be with one person, perhaps a manager, colleague, direct report or a customer. But they could have such a difficult relationship with this one person that they come to resent their job and employer, and maybe, in extreme situations, start to look for a new position.

Time for a courageous conversation

We’ve coached many individuals to address this kind of relationship challenge - with huge success. It’s an amazing feeling when you take control of a situation and feel comfortable and confident talking to people about your concerns.

But having a courageous conversation is sometimes easier said that done. Often we know we need to do it but do everything in our power to avoid the possibility! Or perhaps we don’t give it enough consideration and end up steamrollering the other person with our thoughts and feelings. Do you identify with either of these extremes?

Stress can paralyse us; strength of character gets you through. 

I believe that courageous conversations should be aligned to the preferences of the individual with the challenge. Here are my top tips:

1.Be clearwith yourself about the outcomeyou want from the conversation.

2. Make your expectationsclear to the person you’re speaking to.

3.Show considerationand don’t try to embarrass or insult the other person. Simply raise their awareness and be clear about the outcome you’d like.

4.Take control of the situation – manage the conversation, make sure you have your say and don’t be overpowered by the other person.

You can use these tips to tackle courageous conversations on a professional and personal level. If you’re struggling with a challenging relationship and think you might benefit from some coaching support, please drop me a line at and together we can achieve the outcomes you want.

If we all had the confidence to have courageous conversations, our personal and professional lives would be SO much better and our health and wellbeing MUCH improved. Wouldn’t you agree?