A 2-part collaboration with Michael J. Fox Foundation
Difficult conversations are hard.
Because the subject matter is difficult and the outcome is uncertain, the tendency is to approach and avoid difficult subjects in equal measure.
In 2015, it was a pleasure to partner with the Medical Communications team at Michael J. Fox Foundation and put together a practical guide for disclosing a medical diagnosis (in this case Parkinson’s) in the workplace.
The guide provided tips for planning what to say, when to say it and how to respond to the reactions of supervisors, clients and colleagues. The information gave many people confidence to overcome the anxiety around a difficult topic and to begin conversations about future planning.
Then something interesting happened.
We discovered that the guide had a much wider application and the tips presented applied to many different situations.
Since its publication, the information in the guide has been expanded upon and shared with corporations to support the goals of their Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s), individuals to develop a strategies for asking for a raise or dealing effectively with a difficult colleague or team member, and nonprofits for overcoming challenges in fundraising and team management.
And now… Part 2
Because of the ongoing response it made sense to take the next step and create Part 2 – Managing Long-term Professional Relationships.
Part 2 offers advice for managing relationships after the difficult conversation has taken place. The focus is on continuing the conversation, managing changing expectations and setting relationship boundaries.
The advice in these guides applies to many ‘difficult conversations’ situations.
If you or someone you know is facing a difficult conversation, please use and/or share these resources.
It has been a privilege to get to know and collaborate with the Michael J. Fox Foundation on these projects.