It’s easy to get overwhelmed when dealing with conflict, or to become emotional when having difficult conversations; but while this is perfectly normal, it can impact your ability to effectively communicate your point of view.

Often we get caught up and feel the need to respond immediately in our upset or agitated state, but it’s ok and in fact sometimes much better, to put a pause between our reaction and response.

If you find yourself getting angry or emotional, try asking for a break or more time. Say something like: “You’ve actually caught me a bit off guard. Let me have a think about it and I’ll get back to you in half an hour.”

Use this time to think about exactly what you want to articulate and gather yourself before going back to the conversation in a calm, direct and more assertive manner. That way, you’re more likely to communicate what you really want to say, not what your emotions overwhelm you with.

If you’d like to learn more about how to have difficult conversations, come along to my public workshop Effective Communications: Developing Assertiveness for Personal and Career Success in Trafalgar on Monday 18 July from 7-9pm. Limited tickets remain at