Roberta Matuson is a globally known thought leader who helps leaders achieve dramatic improvements in employee engagement, retention, productivity, and profitability. She is the CEO and founder of Matuson Consulting, where she works with Fortune 500 companies and mid-size, emerging companies to create teams that achieve extraordinary results. She is known as “The Talent Maximizer®.”

She is a seasoned speaker and the author of six books and blogs for Fast Company, Glassdoor, Forbes, and Thrive Global. She is frequently cited in national media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune,,, and NPR. 

Her new book, CAN WE TALK? Seven Principles for Managing Difficult Conversations at Work details how to prepare, start and manage the potentially challenging exchange of words that typically occur at work, and come away with an understanding that for any conversation to take place, both parties must be engaged.

In this episode: Difficult Conversations

  • Why Roberta wrote this book for leaders, employees, and coworkers on how to have difficult conversations
  • Two reasons why people avoid hard conversations
  • Use this approach to build your skills
  • Different social styles at work and with potential clients
  • Embracing silence in conversations especially for introverts and HSPs
  • What is active listening?
  • Roberta shares a personal experience
  • Staying curious and being involved in the company
  • Asking powerful questions
  • Nicole shares personal work experience in a past corporate job
  • What is hyper empathy and its costs
  • Being direct and transparent vs passive communication
  • Exploring your own beliefs about leadership, having difficult conversations, and unlearning
  • What kind of mentor did you have?
  • Why personal development shouldn’t be a buzzword (episode 103)
  • How self-help, leaderships, other books are a great first step and having your own coach
  • Roberta shares how a coach and mentor helped her as an executive at age 24
  • Difference between coaching and mentoring
  • What has helped Roberta face fears or challenges as she has become an executive coach and being a leader


Can We Talk? Seven Principles for Managing Difficult Conversations at Work by Roberta Matuson

Suddenly In Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around

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