Speaker Topic: The Art of Having Taboo/Tough Conversations

How to plan them, have them, and ensure surviving them with dignity intact for all!

Those BIG FAT HAIRY HORRIBLE words… how to say them and survive them!

Having to tell my seven year old son his beloved step father died last night… whoa… that was the first time I ever felt totally stuck for words. Like, they just would not form from my head to my mouth, and here I was sputtering, trying to speak, and just increasing the tension in the moment because the words would not flow.  I’ve been talking non-stop since I was a baby but sometimes life just puts these extraordinary moments into motion and even the best communicators are left flailing.

There have been other times – like having to tell a colleague that she had really bad BO, an employee that I couldn’t keep them on,  intimate  and necessary Q&As with a teenager, or a lover that he wasn’t hitting the mark – yeah those kind of conversations are right up there with ”Awkward” written all over them, but learning the art and mastery of how to do the tough lines and survive them is something we can all learn to do better.

Preparing for and Having Tough Conversations

The hardest conversations usually involve Death, Sex, and Money, although often Mental Health is also included on some lists.  So how can you most easily start to discuss your deepest fears, cares, desire, wants, needs?  How do you know that your partner (and this also applies to friends, children, parents, co-workers) won’t storm off and not hear what you really need to convey?  Are there tricks to having those kind of conversations?   Yes, there are.  And Dixie will share some of those openly, and with heartfelt sincerity, through stories and examples that you can apply in your own situations.


This Keynote is centred on the THREE Rules and FIVE Question Types.

Presence – Judgement – Next Steps

  1. Situational
  2. Thought Provoking
  3. Rhetorical
  4. Why/Why Not
  5. Action

Dixie will guide you through the critical aspects of how these all fit into the Art of Having Tough/ Taboo Conversations. 

The Art of Self Evaluation

Tough Conversations and how to have them is also part of a wider topic – getting to know yourself. Understanding what your deepest desires, fears, wants and needs truly are. This is about self evaluation – which involves asking the right questions of yourself, learning about your needs, your values, your personal language style, and how you best express and receive love.  This additional level can be customised for a workshop or extended sessions after attending the Keynote on the Taboo Conversations.  

Audience Takeaways:

  • Confidence in difficult communication situations
  • Strategy for improved communication
  • Fresh perspectives on experiences how to use them to build empathy.


Resources for Audiences:

  • Planning guidelines for critical communications
  • Copy of Dixie’s latest book – That ‘V’ Word