Being Indispensable Liz Van Vliet

132. Engaging In Difficult Conversations: The Power Skills Most Assistants Struggle WithWednesday, Mar 10, 2021


Tools and tactics to help Assistants manage boundaries, navigate conflict and avoid ‘silence or violence’ in interactions with others

No one likes a difficult conversation (including me). Being able to engage in challenging conversations is a crucial Power Skill that I train assistants in.

There are many people who avoid them altogether but the consequences of this can be enormous and it’s definitely something that will get in the way of you being perceived as a Linchpin Assistant.

If you’re someone who cares about creating and maintaining healthy and happy relationships, both at work as well as in your personal life, you know that sometimes an uncomfortable conversation is necessary.
In a recent speaking engagement I asked assistants for the one Power Skill they struggle with the most….and engaging in difficult conversations was overwhelmingly nominated as a problem area. So in this episode I share:

  1. Three questions to ask yourself before a tough conversation
  2. Four behaviours that are most likely to escalate conflict
  3. One DO and One don’t to keep front of mind
  4. Two frameworks or scaffolds for structuring a difficult conversation
  5. One final tactic for avoiding misunderstandings or miscommunication

Resources discussed in this episode:

Georgia Murch can be found here:

Listen to Episode 113 and 55 for more tools and tactics to help you engage in difficult conversations and power up this Power Skill.

Loved it? Share it.

Looking for something? Search here

Liz Van Vliet - My EA Career

Meet Liz

I work with executive assistants and administrative assistants to equip them with the skills and confidence they need to influence more effectively and demonstrate the leadership and interpersonal skills to make them a 'linchpin' to their boss and organisation.

Get a monthly drop of The Linchpin Assistant wisdom straight to your inbox.

The Linchpin Assistant respects your privacy. By subscribing you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Website Terms of Use .

Take Action

Are You Ready To Power Up Your Potential and Transform Your Career?

Book Your Coaching or Training,


Invite Me To Deliver A Keynote Presentation

Become the Linchpin Your Organisation Can't Do Without!