Having Difficult Conversations at Work

If you know that you need to have a challenging conversation, it’s worth preparing thoroughly for it. The preparation time may be disproportionate to the length of the conversation itself, but if the conversation’s important enough, your preparation will rarely be wasted. As a friend of mine was always told, ‘Prepare thoroughly and deviate with confidence’. There are a number

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Preserving Work-Life Balance

How is your work-lifestyle balance linked to conversation? The connection between them may not be an obvious one. However, let’s imagine that you are poor at saying ‘no’ to people’s requests, meaning that you take on more than you can deliver. Something has to give, and you steal time from your home life to keep up with the demands of

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The Art of Small Talk

The following article was featured in GQ on 11 July 2014: Small talk. We all have to do it. We all dread that awkward silence when we’ve asked how he/she is and commented on the weather. High-profile figures are no less exempt: this weekend reports emerged of an awkward encounter between Samuel L Jackson and Victoria Beckham in the Royal Box at

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Being able to Say No

It’s much easier to adopt the stance of being ‘a victim of circumstances’ than to take responsibility for a situation by saying no. Here’s an example: Ethan regularly declares, on arriving home after work, that he’s got nothing done that day. What he means is that he’s been delivering on other people’s priorities, which prevents him from progressing his own.

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