How can you mentally prepare for a difficult conversation? You’ll want to think about the logistics (where and when you meet) and your strategy (how will you frame the problem and what you’ll say first). But getting ready emotionally is perhaps the most important work you need to do before you get into the room. Here are a few things you can go do to get ready.
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(From the article): Susan David, a psychologist and coauthor of the Harvard Business Review article Emotional Agility, says that “suppressing your emotions — deciding not to say something when you’re upset—can lead to bad results.” She explains that if you don’t express your emotions, they’re likely to show up elsewhere. Psychologists call this emotional leakage. “Have you ever yelled at your spouse or child after a frustrating day at work—a frustration that had nothing to do with him or her? When you bottle up your feelings, you’re likely to express your emotions in unintended ways instead, either sarcastically or in a completely different context. Suppressing your emotions is associated with poor memory, difficulties in relationships, and physiological costs (such as cardiovascular health problems),” David explains. Prevent your emotions from seeping out — in the conversation or at home — by getting your feelings out ahead of time. That way, you’ll be more centered and calm when you’re having the discussion. You may be wondering, Do I really need to do this for one 10-minute conversation? While it takes some time (though it will get easier the more you do it), there is a huge payoff. You’ll go into the conversation with the right mindset, feeling confident, knowing what you want to achieve.