How and why to have difficult conversations: Ed Jackson

What are you like at having difficult conversations?

You know the type of thing, you have something you want to say, that needs saying – but rather than embrace the discomfort you decide it’s more bother than it’s worth and sweep it under the carpet. However – our ability to have difficult conversations and express ourselves truthfully, honestly and responsibly is one of the most important life skills anyone can have. Sweeping things under the carpet doesn’t make issues go away – they simply linger and fester and eventually contaminate relationships in one way or other.

One person who knows first hand the power of embracing difficult conversations is Ed Jackson, the former pro rugby player who broke his neck diving into the pool.

He wasn’t expected to walk again but has massively confounded the experts and there’s no way he could have achieved what he has without his wife Louis. She was a huge support to Ed after his accident – and enabled him to make such a tremendous recovery – but while she was putting on a brave face she was dealing with her own trauma. So, eventually, she decided to share her feelings with Ed. It wasn’t an easy conversation for either of them – particularly louis – but it was fundamental, and helped the two of them move through what they were going through and grow together.

Theirs is such a good example of having difficult conversations – but I know for a fact that this is something we could all get better at, and it can have a profound effect on how we grow, individually and in relationship.

"Turn towards the hard conversations, don’t run in fear from them"


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