• Julie Gillespie

Conversations with Julie - Our Reflections EPISODE #2

In this episode we are talking with Emma Schneider. She is a friend, my professional assistant and a Mental Health First Aid participant. We get to unpack what goes into an uncomfortable conversation and the importance of common language.


PURPOSE: To explore what is in a conversation

WHAT TO EXPECT: Unpack the discomfort felt when having a conversation

We know that a conversation can heal. In this episode we dove deep into the feelings that get in the way of having a conversation, and that process of healing, and realised that it can also:

  • Connect us into our own trust, safety, and self-compassion

  • Create real human connection

  • Build a common language and understanding

  • Replace judgement with curiosity

We ask all of our guests three questions at the end of each episode. Julie got a bit cheeky and asked them up front for Emma, thinking that the conversation may alter her pre-thought out answers.

The questions are:

  1. Fill in the blank... "A conversation can___________" (This can be in the perspective of either party in a conversation)

  2. What has been the greatest lesson, good or bad, that you've learnt about having conversations?

  3. What is something you would like others to know about having difficult conversations?

Emma’s Answers at the beginning:

  1. “A conversation can be uncomfortable. I’m working through being ok with it. In the past it was never like that, it was always surface level. Now it's allowed to go deeper.”

  2. “Biggest lesson, and regret was not saying something when something should have been said. I don’t want to bring something up and trigger someone.”

  3. “Acknowledging that I’m uncomfortable. And listening to the other person.”


We covered the following topics to unpack some of the key language around setting yourself up to have a conversation. We haven’t captured Emma’s answers here, as we feel it is more important for you to reflect on what your answers may be. Give yourself a few minutes to fill these out.

What do these topics mean to you?

  1. Seeking permission

  2. Gaining clarity

  3. What is the purpose of a common language = culture

  4. What does safety mean to you? Internal v External

  5. What does trust mean to you? Internal v External

  6. The difference between tension and conflict

  7. What to do with a reaction??

  8. Being a fixer

  9. The Apology

Emma’s Answers at the end:

  1. A conversation can be life changing. “Having uncomfortable conversations/situations you are going to get really good outcomes, that will sit with you forever and can change the course of your life”

  2. Not having the conversation - “it is worth being uncomfortable to have the conversation”

  3. Just do it! It really is simple. It’s really uncomfortable. You won’t feel good at the time.


We recommend that you use this podcast to start conversations with your team. Then ask one or two of these questions and work towards finding each persons answer, they don't have to be the same, that's the beauty of this activity.


“Our similarities bring us to a common ground; our differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.”
Tom Robbins NOVELIST, SHORT STORY WRITER, ESSAYIST

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