191. Spotting Fear and Navigating Difficult Conversations with Nancy Burger

“Stay in your lane. Your job is to present your points with respect and compassion. Not to anticipate the other person’s reaction.” — Nancy Burger
We've all avoided having an important conversation because of fear. 

Often, we do so because we don’t have the tools — we don’t know where and how to begin. We don’t have the words or the vocabulary to discuss an important topic. Sometimes, it’s because we’ve been burned in the past when a difficult conversation went awry.

I also feel like the older I get, the need to have these difficult or sensitive conversations aren’t decreasing. They feel like they’re multiplying!

And just because we’re older doesn’t mean we’ve mastered the art of conducting difficult conversations. Sure, we have loads of experience under our belt. And some of us really have done massive work on this and have some tools to help navigate the fear in difficult conversations.

But we can always use more tools in this space.


Nancy Burger is a communications strategist and coach who guides executives and teams to foster emotionally healthy cultures. A certified leadership coach, author, and seasoned researcher, Nancy brings her 10+ years of communications expertise and research in psychology to elevate workplace connections. Nancy also delivers workshops and talks to universities, leadership organizations, and networking groups, all with the aim of cultivating clear, effective, and productive communication dynamics.

In this episode, Nancy and I peel back the curtain and explore the challenge many of us face when having difficult conversations.

  • How fear complicates difficult conversations
  • Why we don’t always catch the fear-based thoughts that are driving our decisions and actions
  • Setting the expectations of ourselves going into sensitive conversations
  • How to prepare for these sensitive conversations
For all the links and show notes, head on over to http://secondbreaks.com

191. Spotting Fear and Navigating Difficult Conversations with Nancy Burger
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