How to Have a Critical Conversation in the Workplace

1:45-2:45 PM ET – Breakout Session Round 2

Are you bracing for an important conversation at work and feel nervous that you might not be clear or might get talked over? Or maybe you have to share difficult information on behalf of your agency. Figuring out how to have challenging conversations in a safe, equitable and constructive way is essential. In this interactive session, you’ll explore the communications skills needed to have difficult conversations, rather than avoid them.

Key Takeaway: From this session, you will walk away with a communication skill toolbox so that you can feel confident in any conversation.

Relevant Competencies: Building Coalitions


Mel leads the talent development and engagement practice, helping LMI clients and internal teams with a wide range of workforce initiatives. Her specialties include leadership development, employee engagement, training development and execution, cultural assessment and strategy, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility principles.

Prior to joining industry in 2018, Mel spent more than a decade with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) in a variety of roles. She was a staff officer, intelligence analyst, tradecraft specialist, and human resources professional. She founded the NGA Parents Network, an employee-driven organization to support working parents by offering information and services, building community, and advocating for parent needs to leadership. In her first contractor role, she supported external communications for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Mel is a Gallup-certified CliftonStrengths coach and a certified culture facilitator through Veritas Culture. She holds a bachelor’s from the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.