HR professionals are no strangers to difficult conversations. We are also frequently tasked with guiding front-line managers with their difficult conversations. Woohoo! Seriously, keep the following in mind. When we experience strong emotions, we become like pendulums. Our emotions can swing well away from center. When you are going to have a difficult conversation, identify the outcome you seek, and bring every conversational tangent back to it. A difficult conversation may sometimes reveal the hidden cause of the difficulty, and that can alter the intended outcome. However, for the most part, conversing with an intentional outcome as the focus will act as a ballast. Choose your words carefully. Before you begin, check your internal tone for anger or frustration. Elevate the other person’s feelings. Keep your conversational partner engaged and open. Difficult conversations offer opportunity to increase understanding between team members. Avoid the following: absolutes, exaggerations, judgements, blame, challenges and being personal. (Read the article for in depth explanations.) These words and phrases are an amazing guide, but ultimately, the goal is a smooth work process, and all of us require recalibration to accomplish that. Remember, that you are both participants on a journey to discover what works best.