4 Step Playbook to Win High-Stakes Conversations copy
CXO Sales Playbook-Venkat’s Blog

4 Step Playbook to Win High-Stakes Conversations

- Venkataraman Subramanyan

Avoiding conflict isn’t how leaders deal with it.

Showcase your executive presence by walking directly towards it.

There are leaders who tend to postpone these types of conversations because of a number of reasons, but when you think about it, it just comes down to conflict avoidance.

Here are excuses I have observed:

1. Using time as an excuse.

Rather than having the conversation now, the leader postpones it for the future.

“Why go ahead and rush in to solve something that can wait?

2. Downplaying the significance of the issue

Leaders tend to self-rationalize this delay by de-prioritising it.

“I don’t think it’s too much of an issue right now and will get to it later”

3. Using impersonal communication channels

Using technology to dehumanize the interaction.

“I will send them a message over chat rather than have a 1-1 conversation”

4. Delegating the issue to others

Leaders who will try and outsource the crucial conversations to others.

“Hey HR, why don’t you go ahead and get this done for me?”

If any of these sounds familiar, here is a simple 4 step playbook to sail through high-stakes conversations and create the best possible outcomes for everyone involved.

5. Self-awareness to see where you stand.

A little bit of self awareness goes a long way.

Where exactly do you stand? What’s your conflict orientation?

If a predominant conflict orientation is either avoidance or accommodation, you have to start with a commitment to switch yourself into a more resourceful state.

6. Pick a date and time.

Set a date, time and location where you will go ahead and initiate this conversation. Add it to your calendar.

there is no greater way to focus the human mind than an impending deadline.

7. Visualize the dialogue

Visualize it.

See it going your way, before it actually goes your way. Visualize a two-way dialogue where you set clear expectations and also value the other perspective.

8. Re-Frame Conflict as a Catalyst

Utilize conflicts as moments of learning.

You can strengthen relationships through open conversation instead of shutting down the flow. Rather than heaving a sigh of relief when you finish, use the conversation to share some acknowledgements.

End with a positive acknowledgement of the other individual.

Confronting conflict isn’t easy, but it’s an essential skill for leaders.

So the next time that you find that you’re avoiding or accommodating conflict, run through these 4 steps.

The more you walk towards fear, discomfort, and conflict, the more you rise.


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Venkataraman Subramanyan is a Global Leadership Development Expert & Sales Coach. He is the Founder and CEO of Tripura Multinational. Venkat’s mission is to touch and transform a hundred million lives by 2025, and a billion lives by 2030. With over 30 years of experience, Venkat is passionate about 2 things – Leadership Transformation and Sales Acceleration. His trademarked deal qualification framework is licensed worldwide by organizations and filters over $3Billion in deals annually. He is an accredited member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Tripura Multinational is a dynamic sales organization dedicated to empowering sales professionals and organizations to achieve unparalleled success. Originally established as a platform to address skill gaps in the sales industry, Tripura has evolved into a multi-faceted entity that offers comprehensive engagements for Sales Managers and Sales Leaders. Through the transformative power of Sales Coaching, Tripura enables sales organizations to elevate their performance from good to great and ultimately reach a world-class level. Our approach focuses on optimizing sales skills, management expertise, and leadership capabilities, helping clients plan more effectively, qualify leads better, orchestrate sales processes seamlessly, and expand their business with confidence. 

Our organisation is the trusted choice of market leaders across various industries and segments, relying on our expertise to elevate their performance to new heights. Recognized for our ability to enhance excellence, we are entrusted with the task of making the client’s best even better.

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