Hello everybody and thank you for joining me for the Searching for Serenity 7 day video tutorial series, Dealing with Difficult Conversations and Colleagues.

For those of you that don't know me already I am Leah and I am the founder of Searching for Serenity which is a mentoring practice for professional, heartfelt women who are really struggling with issues of burnout, overwhelm and exhaustion and want to take their careers and their lives to the next level.

Some of you will have already been through the 7 day challenge, Your Best week. This course is delivered in a similar format but there are some slight changes - I will run you very quickly through how this video tutorial will be delivered to you and then we will get straight down to it.

Every day, direct to your inbox you will receive an email with a video, an audio and a written transcript of what we are discussing each day.  Each video and audio will be between 5 and 10 minutes in length and the intention is that you listen to the video or audio straight away and begin implementing immediately.

These courses are intensely practical, they are intended to deliver you the skills that you would have developed over the next 10 years of your career, without having to go through the trial and error.

Every day we will have a 5-10 minute video and audio, you can read through the transcript on your way in to work, and you can start implementing immediately.

Each day's skills builds on the last and by the end of the week you will have a full toolkit to deal with difficult conversations and colleagues.

Now, obviously, any training is only as good as the repetition and taking on board.  It is entirely up to you how much you repeat these videos; you can go through these time and again and there are other videos to help you in other areas such as building your confidence at work and dealing with exhaustion.

If you do need more support then you can reach out to me at hello@searchingforserenity.co.uk and you can let me know how I could be of more support and assistance to you.

Shall we get straight into it?

This video tutorial is all about dealing with difficult conversations and colleagues, but it's not just limited to colleagues, obviously.  It can be difficult clients, managers, subordinates; these skills also apply in day-to-day life.  Let's face it, there are times in our lives that we have to have difficult conversations with others.  If you can implement some of the skills being taught through this video tutorial then it will take you further.

If you are struggling with difficult conversations and difficult colleagues, by coming to Searching for Serenity there are a few things I know about you without ever having to have a conversation with you.

You are a professional woman.  You re pursuing your career, it may not even be the path that you are on right now but you know that you are meant for more, you want to achieve more, to impact more people and to make a difference in this world.

I also know that if you are coming to me that you have been struggling with far too much for far too long.  The likelihood is that you are likely to put other people first, most often to put yourself last and you keep giving, worrying about other people, before you worry about yourself; whether that be your friends, family, co-workers, clients your work itself.  Hell, you might even put the asking and the cleaning ahead of your own needs.  

So that's what we are here to sort out.

Dealing with difficult conversations at work and at home is tricky; dealing with difficult people even more so sometimes because of the effect that other people have on us.  What I want to start with is something that so many of us struggle with; it's something that I have struggled with.

This is about your own confidence and setting in place boundaries.

Have you ever worked in an open-plan office environment?  If you have, you know that they are one step away from hell!  Tend to think of myself as a bit of an emotional sponge.  The women that I work with tend to be intensely empathetic, they feel things on a very emotional level as well as practical.  Open office environments are a hotbed of emotional activity.

Your colleague three desks over is having a bad day and keeps the slamming the phone down and every time they do, you jump slightly.  Your colleague two over that way has had a difficult conversation with a client and has left their desk in tears and you want to go after them, but you're so busy with your own work that you don't even know where to start.

So setting boundaries in place and dealing with your own internal confidence is step one in dealing with any difficult situation. 

I would invite you today to first of all look at your schedule.  When was the last time you took care of yourself.

I don't mean slumping on the sofa at the end of the day with a glass of wine and watching Friends reruns.  That’s great sometimes but that's not really caring for yourself.

There is a saying that you can't pour from an empty cup; the idea being that the more you look after yourself the more resources you have available to help other people.  Now that goes for work as much as it does for home.  You can't do your job is you're frazzled and exhausted and overwhelmed.

Now, confidence is something that I expand further on in another of our 7-day video tutorials, the Crash Course to Boosting Your Confidence at Work, so if you want to check that out there are links back to all of the programmes at the bottom of the email.

But for today, I want you to look at your own self-care and to putting boundaries in place. I want you to consider your schedule and think about when you look after yourself and when the last time was that you put yourself first. 

I would also ask you to consider yourself as an island.  It's really difficult when you have difficult conversations, whether you are giving the concerning news or receiving it.  But the one thing I don't have to worry about with you is not taking those things onboard.

If I know what you're like, and I think I do, you always take on board the negative, you rarely take onboard the positive and you completely internalise the negative.

If someone tells you in your annual review the following 'You have done great work all year, your attitude with the team is fantastic, we have some issues with your timekeeping but generally it's all good'; what is the part of that sentence that you have picked up on quickest?

3 positives, 1 negative and I know which one you are internalising right now, the timekeeping, because it's negative.

I don't need to worry about you being arrogant or not taking on board constructive criticism because I know you will take it on boarding likely internalise it, fester upon it and make it into a bigger issue than it is.
So, whilst we go through this course and we are developing your skills I want you to consider yourself as an island.  If you like, think of yourself with a large shield between you and everyone else.  Anything that people say bounces off that shield.  This week, we are not going to internalise anything and everything that people say to us.  We are going to consider the comment objectively, consider whether it is even worth thinking about further and if so, take action.

But for this week, do not worry about whether people have something negative to say or whether they like you or not.  By developing these skills you become of greater service to others and you cannot do that if you are worrying and festering and spinning all of the time.

In summary; consider your schedule and carve some time out each day to look after yourself.  Whether that is watching an episode of your favourite TV programme, whether that's a long bubble bath, whatever will make you feel good, feel better, more energised and more confident then you are going to do it every day this week.

The second is that you are an island.  You are a princess upon a throne, the queen who will take nothing onboard or consider anyone else.  For this week, do not take on board the views, opinions, and emotions of the other people around you flailing in their own worry.  We are only going to consider the things that are of absolute importance whilst we develop this skill set, because you require enough space and emotional availability whilst you develop this.

So that's it for today, it's really simple isn't it?  Building simple skills and ideas each day that immediately stack on each other so that you no longer have to worry about conversations with other people.

I would love to hear how you are getting on with this so do pop up in the Searching for Serenity Facebook group and if you haven't joined it already, do.  The group is full of heartfelt professional women who are also suffering from issues of exhaustion and burnout and overwhelm and who want to do the best that they can in their lives and careers.  They are all there to support you through your journey as well.

I would love to hear how you get on and will be back in your inbox tomorrow with Day 2 of the course.
In the meantime have an amazing day.