A team member gave me some feedback the other day, saying that he needed some support with a difficult conversation he was about to have – and I didn’t provide the support.

How great it is that someone can give me the feedback I need.

Then I started thinking about what support could I have provided. I suppose I could have provided some words of encouragement (“you’ve got this”, “just keep calm”, “be prepared with lots of notes”).

I thought later, sure, words of encouragement are all perfect and fine, but a more genuine learning experience was needed. I should have set up a simulation of the conversation—me taking on the other person’s role, my team member conducting the difficult discussion.

I know the other person and could have proven a great antagonist.

That would have been effective support.