Chelmsford, Essex

7 tips on running a successful difficult meeting

7 tips on running a successful difficult meeting


Following on a previous blog on 7 tips on how to prepare for a meeting , I had been strategic on preparing my “difficult” meeting. By difficult, I did not mean that the content of the meeting was difficult but that the person I was dealing with, I consider difficult.

Now if you treat people with respect and have the arguments on your side, then it is not that difficult and if you start with considering that there is no difficult people, then life becomes immediately easier.

1/ Change the vocabulary you use: difficult is not a very nice word. What about challenging, interesting, life-changing, provoking. You can even use an antonym of difficult, for example manageable, straightforward, and uncomplicated and then you are in the flow

2/ Make sure you stay positive, just before the meeting, I was nervous so as I ordered some drinks at the Tesco Café, I started chatting to the gentleman next to me and even laughed with him on the heat wave and the work life balance.

3/ Start with the human touch: in this case a cup of tea and a cake, I bought an almond croissant as I am in England but you can adapt that to wherever you are, I also explained to my ex why I do not drink coffee anymore and broke the ice by telling him a little funny story around that.

4/ Make eye contact without staring but if you feel more nervous, remake eye contact on a regular basis

5/ Be prepared to listen, even if you are a chatty one. Listen first and let the other one finish his sentences, that’s key. I have realised for a chatty person, if you let the other one talk, they get even more attracted to you. You can also use that in dating and it makes you a better person in any case!

6/ Use body language mirroring, I did it about 3 times and just gently mirrored the body language of my ex a few times. You need to be subtle but it is a good technique used to keep rapport.

7/ Keep positive and focused: I was so positive and upbeat and smiled a lot that there was no way I could be defeated. I started with the chit chat and catching up, got to the point and put my arguments and my documents to back them up forward and then I mentioned the most controversial part at the end. By that time, we were both relaxed and the bad did not seem that bad anymore for either of us. We reconciled our differences and this was good.

I am going to finish by saying thank you to a few people who helped me the day before, my friend Rob who had ideas on how to present it positively, my friend Sharon who supported a work conversation and helped me to find clarity.

Helene is a dreamer, a poet, a trainer, a coach, a mother, a daughter. She is passionate about helping others to find their voices through her training. Get in touch with her If you want to book a discovery call with her, please get in touch on 07875627485 or email