Many managers worry about how they are going to soften the blow instead of what they’re going to say, says Porter. “That’s like preparing to give a speech & focusing on what you’ll wear rather than the content of your presentation,” she notes. Ask yourself, “What’s my core message? What do I hope this person takes away from the conversation? What do I want to happen next?” Write down what you will say & practice in the shower or on a trusted coworker. Zero in on the behavior or action, rather than discussing feelings, & giving concrete examples, like “I noticed you interrupted people six times in that meeting” (versus “You’re being rude to coworkers”).