Reema Caron D’Souza, Manager – Innovation and Strategy, Transport for NSW reflected on the last #GIRLBOSSNIGHT in Sydney where we covered the topic – Navigating Difficult Conversations.

How many of you have found yourselves in the midst of a sticky situation or awkward conversations and wondered “How do I get through”! The latest event hosted by Girls In Tech Australia had a wonderful panel to discuss some interesting ways of tackling this. 

With a full house and perhaps one of the biggest Girl Boss Nights, this event marked a new chapter for Gi’s continued expansion in Sydney.

The panel consisted of Roz Gregory, Roz Gregory, Head of Customer Success & Digital Transformation at Pivotal, Carmel Zein – Brand Marketing Manager at eWave Commerce, Kimberley Apted – Head of IT Education at Optiver Asia Pacific and Vanessa Curtis – Founder & Principal Consultant at Radial Consulting and our very own GIT ambassador Christine Rodrigues moderating the discussion.  

The experiences shared by the panellists ranged from circumstances that were arguably hilarious to embarrassing and some seriously uncomfortable, compromising situations as well. The stories reflected acts of courage, bravado and diligence. Collectively they shared valuable tips and strategies to handle such matters professionally with the desired end in mind. Here are a few takeaways:

  •       Be prepared and do your homework thoroughly. Back yourself, your recommendations, the data you have gathered, the source and the process of preparing it. Cross-checking with your stakeholders is a great way of ensuring you’re on the same page. Particularly when it comes to conversations about salaries and growth positions. Be bold and confident and know your worth that you are comfortable backing up.
  •       Be prepared for the unexpected. Some things spring out of nowhere and sometimes buying time to prepare and think, can be a great call. In situations that feel overwhelming, particularly when there are emotions involved, it is best for the other person to have their say while you work over what you want to say in your mind. It is better to be on an even keel and act respectfully than react.
  •       Listen and respectfully participate. It’s always good to understand the other person’s perspective and figure ways of how to help them by providing options. A win-win is the best possible outcome and negotiation strategy and helps build honest, authentic relationships. If the decision is lop-sided, it is important to be open and upfront about the expectations even if that means letting go of that relationship or the opportunity.
  •       People and their relationships are the most important. There certainly can be positions where the professional relationship isn’t working anymore and it would be better to end it on an equitable position, while still treating the person fairly and with empathy. When in really nonplussed, it is best to be direct, stand your ground and be prepared with the end result in mind, especially in situations when you know what they are doing is against your values or ethics.

Ultimately applying a professional lens, thinking about a plan of action is the best approach. Hope these Girlbossnight highlights help you next time when you find yourself in a position to speak to someone about something that’s not so pleasant. If you found this useful, make sure you follow us for more events like this. Stay tuned!