Episode 6

Published on:

8th Feb 2024

How Do You Handle Difficult Conversations with Loretta Milan

Hard conversations are hard to avoid in SEO, whether delivering bad news to clients or your boss, disagreeing with something, asking for a raise or promotion etc. Sarah chats with Loretta about how you can manage difficult conversations, turning them into a positive.

About Loretta:

Loretta Milan is the founder of Origineurs and an award-winning communication expert who has been helping people stand out and succeed for over 20 years, including leaders of big global brands, entrepreneurs and change makers.

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@origineurs on Instagram

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Sarah McDowell 0:06

Hello, everyone. And thank you for joining us for another episode of the SEO mindset podcast where your hosts are myself, Sarah McDowell, and the wonderful Tazmin. So this week, we've got a stellar guest lined up for you. Unfortunately, we don't have Tazmin, but we have a guest joining instead. And before I get into our guest, and this week's topic, I just want to remind you about the ways that you can support the podcast. So if you enjoy what me and Jasmine are doing with this podcast, I'm going to run through two quick ways that you can support us, we are set up on buying me a coffee, so you can give us a one off donation. And we'd be very much appreciative of that. So if you fancy doing that, and given us a donation, follow the link in the show notes. And another ask is, please do share our podcast and episodes with your friends, family, loved ones, pets, anyone and everyone helps us get the word out there. Now. Okay, time to talk about this week's guest and talk about this week's topic. So I have the wonderful Loretta Milan and they are the founder of originals. And Loretta is an award winning communication expert who has been helping people stand out and succeed for over 20 years, including leaders of big global brands, entrepreneurs and changemakers. And I have Loretta on the podcast today to talk about a very important topic, a topic that I relate to so much. So I'm going to get so much from this conversation. And that is how to handle difficult conversations. So let's welcome Loretta to the podcast. Hello, Loretta.

Loretta 1:51


Sarah McDowell 1:52

How are we doing?

Loretta 1:54

We're doing good today?

Sarah McDowell 1:56

Yeah, yeah. Good. Good. We're recording on Well, it's sort of like late afternoon, aren't we? early evening?

Loretta 2:04

We are Yes.

Sarah McDowell 2:06

Yeah. How's how's your day been?

Loretta 2:07

It's been very good. I've been recording myself all day to day to have lots of conversations about communication, which is my favourite topic.

Sarah McDowell 2:16

Wow. I mean, it's a good job. It's a good job, isn't it with the sort of things that you do? So, this, this week's topic of what you're here to talk about on the podcast about is so important because, yeah, difficult conversations. They're hard to avoid, but so important to know how to handle them? Because we have to have them ultimately, don't we? So? Yeah, I appreciate you coming on the podcast to talk about this.

Loretta 2:47

You're welcome. I hope we're gonna have an easy conversation about difficult conversations today.

Sarah McDowell 2:53

Yes, I'm sure I'm sure it will be. I'm sure there'll be no difficulty between me and yourself. So yeah, so as I said, Just Just a minute go. So difficult conversations are hard to avoid in everyday life, and especially in SEO, search engine optimization. So a lot of our listeners in the industry that they work in. So I thought sort of a good place to start would be talking about some examples and sort of having a conversation with yourself about how you deal with them, or sort of like, yeah, starting there. Does that sound like a good? A good plan?

Loretta 3:36

That sounds like a plan? I think working with real examples is probably the most helpful.

Sarah McDowell 3:40

Yeah, definitely, like get straight into it with some examples. And yeah, and then also, what will be quite good as well is we're sort of given some examples, and we've got a few to get through. It will get our listeners thinking of other scenarios, that strategies and things that we talk about can help out as well. So I think it'd be really helpful. Okay, so I'm going to run through a common common situation that I have found myself in, and I'm sure a lot of my listeners analysis would have as well. So things go wrong. Yeah.

Loretta 4:21

They do. Unfortunately, from time to time.

Sarah McDowell 4:25

Yeah, things go wrong. And sometimes when things go wrong, they are out of your control. But unfortunately, there are times when something goes wrong, and it is your fault. Yeah, I have to admit that it happens. It happens. We're all human. At the end of the day, we're not all AI yet.

Loretta 4:46

AI makes mistakes to get us bits to it quite freely when it does as well which is quite funny.

Sarah McDowell 4:55

So an example here is, for example, accidentally setting a whole website to no index, and deleting a website page when you're working on it, with no backup to restore it. So lots of examples here that human error that happen, but once it's gone wrong, you can unfortunately just hide, you have to come clean and you have to talk to, if you're in house a boss, or that someone above you, if your agency size, you'll have to talk about it with your client. So there's example number one. So yeah, let's chat. Let's chat through that one first.

Loretta 5:38

Okay so it's your fault. I mean, there's two scenarios here, you've picked up on it, and you're owning up to it, it can also happen that something is your fault. And the person that you're accountable to has found out about it and has come to talk to you about it. But in either of those situations, the most important first step is to listen to their response, because they're going to have some form of reaction. Hopefully, you've got your nice person who's going to be really understanding. But we're not all fortunate enough to get that the person is venting, and really angry, it's very uncomfortable to listen to. But the most important thing is to actually let them get that venting out of their system. Because while they need to vent, whether it's mildly or loudly, they're not going to be in the mood to listen to what you've got to say next. The problem is that if they don't stop venting, so they start to go around in circles, try to reach a point where you thank them for what they've got to say, even though it hasn't been very pleasant. And you've managed to bite your tongue all the way through that part. And then demonstrate that you've heard what they've had to say. And the best way of doing that is recapping some of their key points in their own words. So try to use the words that they've used, not your kind of version of it, that will help them feel heard and appreciated in that situation, and will help to kind of dampen some of the emotions from the situation. And it'll bring it back to kind of a logical situation. Once you at that point, then you can apologise for what's happened and apologise really sincerely sound like that. I'm really sorry that this has happened, I feel really bad about it or whatever you want to say. The next step is to give a reason for what happened to show that you understand what went wrong. There's nothing more infuriating than someone making a mistake and not knowing how that it happened. Because there's a risk that that mistake can happen again. And the final step, yeah, is the most important one. And that's a remedy. What are you going to do about it? There's nothing worse than when someone makes a mistake and you hear them on the telly just going, or lessons have been learned. How infuriating is that? Because Have they really been learned? You need kind of really practical steps. Well, next time what we're going to do is okay, if you said there was no backup, we're going to make sure we have a procedure in place to make sure we're checking that there is a backup, or that someone is accountable to someone else to make sure we're not deleting pages without checking with someone else first, to avoid this happening another time.

Sarah McDowell 8:23

Lovely. So I want to sort of pick out because as you were talking through the steps and explaining them Yeah, steps so there seems to be clear steps to follow. So first step is let the person vent. Let them get them. It's not going to be easy. But listen, empathise So understand, sort of mirror their language as well. Yeah, because they want to be heard. Then you need to apologise because I suppose with you apologising, you're also taking accountability as well. Right? Yeah.

Loretta 9:03

If it's your fault, yeah, yeah.

Sarah McDowell 9:05

And then there is your rather than just saying lessons have been learned? What is the remedy? What is the solution? That your reason first and then oh, sorry. Absolutely. Yes. In and then remedy. Lovely. So those Yeah, easy steps there, too.

Loretta 9:23

So it works. Sometimes a person will get themselves in circles or go over their anger again. So what you can do is be what's called a record or what I call a broken record player, you go around in a loop. So as I said, I'm really sorry. I've explained why it's happened and you move them back to the remedy again, okay, so the more time you can spend on remedy, the more time we're spending on moving it forward, which is much more constructive and a much nicer place to be. Keep them in that place as much as you can.

Sarah McDowell 9:54

Amazing, right, lovely. Okay, are we ready to move on to a next one? sample and let's do it. Yes, do it. Okay, so this happens a lot as well. So when something has changed, and it negatively affects you. So, for example, let's talk about Google, it can't be an SEO podcast without talking about them. So Google is always changing up how it does stuff is always changing its algorithms. It's testing different things. And yeah, and unfortunately, sometimes when these big changes happen in Google, it can have a negative impact on your website. So it can affect traffic and rankings. Obviously, it can positively affect but there's times when it does negatively affect. So unfortunately, it's not necessarily it's not necessarily your fault, or it's a bit out of your control. But there's still something that's happened. Because at the end of the day, as an SEO, what you're sort of going to be looking at is traffic and website and how you've helped with CTR and conversions, and all of that stuff. So when things happen outside of your control, you still need to address it. So what would you suggest in that kind of scenario?


So when this happens, there's typically the client know about it first. So would you know about it first?

Sarah McDowell:

I mean, either or, either or so for example, hopefully fingers crossed, you know it first. Okay. Yeah. But there has been times I'm just thinking agency side. Or even like, if you if you work brand, someone will bring your attention to it, because they've checked rankings, or They've tracked traffic or something has alerted them that something's gone wrong.


Right. Okay. And when, when sort of Google and some of these platforms are making changes? Do they alert you to these changes? Or was it you find out about it when there's been a change in performance? And then you go to investigate what's happened?

Sarah McDowell:

I mean, so Google is usually good. And it will sort of notify the sort of SEO industry and we have someone who works closely with, like, here's the go between between SEO and Google called John Mueller, who will try and keep people updated and answer questions and stuff. But I read some, like I read a stat that Google is changing its algorithms and changing stuff like 2000 times a day. So there's little changes that happen frequently. But then there's the bigger call of updates. So with the bigger call updates, where it's planned, and things are happening, usually get notified.


Okay, so this is an example of where you can work maybe more proactively with clients ideally. So I think the top thing is to begin with research, to almost be use your position as an expert as an SEO to kind of look at what you're anticipating the impact to be come armed with facts from what typically has been impacted in the past, what you see the impact of possibly being in the future, any insights that you can get from other experts, contact at Google, etc, and come up with as much evidence as you can, and your interpretation on that, and use that to come to your client or your boss in a really professional way. And then you can explain your analysis in a really succinct way, then when you've done your research, and you've come prepared. I always think clients like you to come to them armed with solutions. But there's a danger in just coming armed with fully formed solutions in that you then you're not collaborating with your client, your boss. Because if you come to them with if you come to them explaining what the problem is, and so that you're going to work with them on the solution, then they've got a chance to be involved in how they see the way forward. So if you can explain to them that what I'm going to talk to you about today is some changes that have occurred in Google and some of the ideas that we've got as to ways forward but we'd like to discuss them with you before we implement them to make sure you're happy with the changes we're going to make first, then you'll you will be collaborating with them to make sure they're happy and on board with what you're going to do that helps to protect you later. From the potential consequences of making decisions that are they're not happy with later. Okay, and the benefits of cloud So collaboration is almost a kind of communication process, not just a way of working so way of getting people on board, getting them to think with you, and building trust with them. So if you then have to have difficult conversations with them later, there's context, they've been part of the earlier conversation. So they have some accountability in the next conversation that you have, it's not all your fault the next time if you know what I mean. So I think if you can come and come as a professional, come talk them through the problem and the ideas you've got and work with them on a solution in the conversation, and indicate what you think the potential outcomes and then performance will then be, that will be a much more positive collaborative conversation that you can end up with. And I think the key thing then is to keep them updated. So if there are any unknowns, be open about it. So I don't know what will happen. But we will know in two weeks, and then keep up with your promise to update them in two weeks. It's like when you're on a train from London to Northampton, and it's delayed, and you don't know what's happening. That's when you get more infuriated. But the train driver says, there's a delay, there's a train for, there's a tree that's fallen on the line in the storm, like it's happened recently. But we're expecting an update in half an hour and it comes back online, a half an hour, let you know, we've removed half the tree, we're expecting it to be cleared in the next 45 minutes, I'll update you then you feel better being updated on the progress then if you're left hanging, and so on those performance things where there are elements of the unknown, I think that really professional well research collaborative approach, with good, honest, regular communication is a great way of handling those difficult conversations. Because I don't think that is just one conversation. It's like a series of conversations over time where you're trying to really build trust.

Sarah McDowell:

And, unfortunately, when you do work in SEO, there is a lot of unknowns, like things happen all the time. And it's not. It's not just Google and search engines. But sometimes you work in a big team where lots of changes are happening to a website that you don't always know that are going to have an impact and stuff. So I suppose the thing is, is it's all about transparency. It's all about being honest, keeping your client, your boss, whoever you need to update it, show them that you're on it. And yeah, and that you're giving them updates, you're giving them updates on progress, and what have you. Right Time Time is running away. But I want to squeeze two more quick examples in before we go to a short break. So let's talk about this example. So if you have to raise a complaint or issue? Yeah, so let's say for example, you work in house or agency side, and you need to make a complaint about an employee, boss, a client, maybe you don't agree with something, basically, you need to raise something that you're not happy with.


Okay, yeah, so complaints can be a really difficult situation because something's reached a really bad point. And this can often happen when something has been left a long time, and it's reached a point where you are very unhappy. And sometimes you can be feeling quite emotional angry, and you've got to be aware of how you're feeling. And that the trick here is to keep the conversation focused on a single issue. Because if you go to your boss complaining about multiple issues with a particular person or a particular situation, it you will be sort of labelled as being a moaner complaining about everything. And also, it also makes it very difficult for that person to focus on what they can do about it. So well, they might have lots of different issues. What is the most important thing affecting you? Or what's the sort of top three things or whatever it is? What's the most important thing that you can ask this person to deal with them focus on that first issue first, and get advice if you need to. Sometimes it's a trade union, you can go to their professional bodies, HR advisors, legal advice you might need to take, check what advice you can get to help you make sure you have that best conversation. The next thing is to make sure you have that conversation at the right time. And the right place. Does it need to be a formal conversation? Is there a process that needs to be followed? or is it better that you have an informal conversation first is that take the heat out of the conversation. Because sometimes if there's a complaint to be made, and you make it really serious, it blows up into something bigger, when an informal conversation might actually deal with the issue and take the heat out the situation, so you've got to kind of gauge what the right time the right place the right environment is for that conversation. A good thing to do is to set the scene for the conversation. So very often, you can go into those conversations feeling nervous, you're not quite sure what to say, if you say to that person, I need to talk to you about something that's a bit difficult for me. And you're honest about that, they'll often be quite forgiving of you. So if you say please bear with me, if it doesn't quite come out, right? I'm sorry, I'm just trying to sort of find the right way to say it, they will kind of bear with you a little bit. So you're finding it hard to say the right thing. Be honest about it, and explain early what you'd like the outcome to be. So I've had an issue with what's happened here, I'd like to get to a resolution where this happens. And so they've got a clear idea of where you want to get to, and then move into the conversation. So be specific and focus if you've got some evidence of what's happened, bring that out nice and clearly and organised but not too overwhelming. If you come with a kind of a bible of chronological deeps things, and it's like a court case, it can sometimes be very overwhelming to try and not to sort of make it too heavy, but just focused on what evidence they need to see to help you with this conversation. If it's a disagreement, look for areas where you agree first. So very often you you agree on similar things, I often see this in political debates, people are really angry at each other. But actually, they agree on similar things, they want their children to have a good education, they want their family to be safe walking down the street, they want their grandma to have a hip replacement without waiting 18 months, you know, people want basically the same thing. So look for areas where you agree first, and work outwards, because that builds trust and collaboration in the conversation, and warms you up to dealing with some of the things where you disagree. And you can look for points where you might be able to agree to disagree or compromise, etc.

Sarah McDowell:

That is such good advice. That is such good advice. Because we all have even Yeah, even someone that you are sort of is upset you or you disagree or there's something going on, there will be some common ground, there is absolutely


love for sure. And then finally, if this conversation has come as a surprise to them, they may need time to go away, think reflect, take some action, you may need to give them that time. Equally, they may respond with something that you need time to reflect on. Don't allow yourself to be put on the spot. If you need time to kind of go away if you need time to calm down. To be honest with them, say I need a bit of time just to kind of have a breather, or allow that person to have a breather, be human about the whole situation. And do those things and keep the outcome in mind. Throughout the conversation doesn't need to happen in one go. It can happen in a number of conversations. If you need it to happen.

Sarah McDowell:

Nice. It'd be in smart and efficient. And you don't have to Yeah, you don't have to cover everything. If it's too big, too big issue, too overwhelming. This has been such a good conversation. I am going to like I said time time is slipping away from us. But yeah, we just the boat hard to talk about this. But there is one more example that we're going to have to wait until we come back from a short break. So yeah, let's do that. And then maybe talk about like common mistakes, if we have time as well. So let's take a short break now. But join us for part two, or come back for part two, we hope you enjoy that short break. Now Loretta, there is one more example that I want to squeeze in. And that is asking for something that's important to you. Now, obviously, it's very important that you do this, but it can be tricky. It can be awkward, but let's say for example, you need to raise an issue that you need extra support in your team or you need extra external resources. Maybe you want a bit more flexibility with your work hours or your work days. Often a real awkward word is asking for pay rises or promotions. So you can see there's lots of different examples of this but what would you suggest


Okay, so this is kind of an important one, this is when it comes down to something that's really important to you a bit like the complaint, you've got to focus on a single item at a time. So that keeps a person focused on what's important to you and picking your timing as well. So you want to approach someone, when they're at a place, they can take action on what you want them to do, baby, it's your one to one with them, maybe, you know, particularly if it's a pay rise, a great time to ask for a pay rise, after you've done some brilliant performance, have a bad time to ask for pay rise is after you've, you're about to walk out the door, because lots of people think that's a great way you can kind of blackmail someone into giving you a pay rise. The problem is that causes trust issues. Longer term, of course, you pop in longer down the line. So you can be honest and open upfront off the back of great performance, that's a great time to ask. So think about your timing in your environment, in your preparation. Think from the other person's point of view, what will be the impact from what you're requesting? So if you need more support, will there be a cost impact? And how might you be able to address that? Well, is there more people that required? Could you help with recruitment, for example? And what will be the benefit? So if you get a pay rise? Will you be more motivated? Will you deliver a greater service? What are the benefits, or there could be the that you can communicate to people basically, so make sure you're well prepared to answer those benefits and concerns that they will have. And if you don't get what you want, which is always people's fear, and you've got to have this in your mind, never backtrack, always try to move it forward. So a great time to revisit it. Agree a small step forward, maybe you can agree to write a job description for a job share to see whether that might be a viable, maybe have a conversation with HR about the process, maybe speak to off to have a conversation with another person on your boss's behalf that would be useful. You know, but have some small action that you can move the conversation forward, rather than end up in the same place that where you started at the beginning. This is you want to avoid stalemate date. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, some small win that if it was a chessboard, even if you're moving your pawn forward one step, and it's not the Queen, winning the chessboard. And some step forward is really important. And it will all come down half the time to your timing and your confidence and having that conversation.

Sarah McDowell:

Nice, nicely. Preparation is key. Right? So I feel like that's been very useful. Because there's a lot of examples and use cases and scenarios that we've given that and hopefully, like I said, at the beginning of this episode, it's got people thinking, Oh, that would actually work again, in this scenario or that scenario. So thank you so much. Let's move on then. And I'm guessing a lot of the time when we're dealing with conversations, it's about mental preparation, and you kind of know that at the end of the last example. So it's, yeah, it's mental. Like it's, it's mentally in your brain, it's coming out. So I could have said that so much better, but you know, communication, I'm gonna work on that. What tips or strategies can our listeners implement? Maybe like before, during or after, to, like get in the mentor zone mentally prepare?


Okay, so the first thing is to bear in mind that the fear is often worse than the actual thing happening. Actually, you know, you can lose sleep over having a converse difficult conversation that's coming up. But once you've had the conversation, usually it goes much better than you think it's going to happen, it's actually actually a relief to have it happen. So the sooner you can have that conversation, and prepare and have it go, well, the better. So don't let the fear hold you back. That's number one. Very important. Because the fear can lead to you kind of delaying putting off the conversation. And delay is like a kind of huge issue because delay can lead to getting found out about something or go and beyond the point where you can do something about something so don't let the fear hold you back. Take control and believe in yourself. And the second you'll be pleased to hear is about mindset. So it comes down to believing you are worth it in a conversation so you have value to offer. And when it when you come into, you know a difficult conversation about performance or whatever you're not about Add Person, you're not bad because something's gone wrong. You have value to offer, you're in your position for a reason you've been recruited to do what you've you're doing for a reason. And something we're really passionate about over originals is that we're all originals. So your unique combination of skills, experiences, approaches, your personality, your style way of doing things. All those things add up to create your personal value. And you must believe in yourself. Nice. Yeah. So I never go away from a bad conversation, a conversation doesn't go well. If someone says some horrible things. Never lose that believe in yourself. That, you know, some, some other people aren't very good at having bad conversations. And it's easily really easy to take responsibility from someone else's inability to be able to have bad conversations. That

Sarah McDowell:

is so true. And ultimately, you can't control everything that are uncontrollable. And like you said, even if you are prepared, you feel good. You know what you're going in with when you're having a conversation? It could go wrong, but that's not a reflection on you. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I suppose if accom, hopefully, let's be positive mindset about this. And with all the tips and strategies, it goes well, but I suppose when it doesn't go so well, I suppose there's just things that you need to do to look after yourself, isn't there? So what can you do to make yourself feel better? What's something that will bring you positive energy, I suppose?


Yeah, I will I find it that situation. And I do this a lot, because I have to have, you know, I help people a lot with difficult conversations. And inevitably, I've worked on a lot of change communication programmes that involve a lot of difficult conversations. I find journaling helpful, because it helps me unpick what happened, it helps me get the emotions out onto the page, and act the way and then focus on okay, what happened in the situation? And what can I learn from it. And it's really easy to shame ourselves to feel I'm a bad person, because this conversation went badly, when actually, it's just a conversation that went badly, you're not a bad person, because a conversation went badly. So what you then need to focus on is, why did that conversation go badly and unpick that so you can learn from that another time. And worst case scenario, you have to go back to someone and apologise for why it went badly. Or you have to go to someone say, Hang on a minute, I had that conversation with you yesterday. And actually, I wasn't very happy with the way you spoke to me, it made me feel this way. Or I felt this way in response to how you felt about it. And I wouldn't like you to speak to me that way in the future, and you hold them to account. But the journaling will help you take the emotion out of it so you can understand what went wrong. So you can then figure out what's the next best step for you to take through if and only when you have got the emotion out is it then appropriate to then to approach someone else and decide what to do. Because if you try to talk to people, when you're angry and emotional, it's so easy to say the wrong thing. And I've got this analogy I use with the children with regards to toothpaste. So if you squeeze toothpaste out of the tube, all the toothpaste at the tube is really really hard and it's all come out. You cannot get it back in. You cannot you can scoop it you can try you cannot get the toothpaste back in the tube. And that's like your words. And when you're angry and emotional. It's like squeezing toothpaste out of a tube, your things come out of you that you don't intend that you don't mean that don't come out in the best way. And you can't get them back in ever again. And so it's best to let that feeling pass before you pick things up and deal with them and give yourself that space and forgive yourself. Yeah, I love that. And suppose it sort of feeds into being self aware and sort of okay, checking in with your emotions and being like, Okay, what

Sarah McDowell:

do I need to do to get rid of this emotion or deal with this emotion? And yeah, and then only revisit or have the hard conversations that you need to when you're in a in a safe space, I suppose or when you're in a calm space or an unmeasured space where you can Yeah, talk about it without emotions getting in the way. Loretta, this has been such a great episode and I'm very sad to say but we are running out of time. But there is a few questions that I'm going to squeeze in because we do these questions with all of our guests. So okay, I need to do them with you. So the first one I'd like to squeeze in, is what would you like listeners to take away from today's episode? So the main takeaway.


I'd like to believe that difficult conversations are important. There, they're not something to run away from. And the more you you face up to them with some good preparation, and following some of the tips we've covered today, the more confident you'll feel having them. And that confidence in turn, will help you feel more confident having future difficult conversations. So never run from them always face them. And they will generally go better. Practice makes perfect. It does indeed. Oh, hang on. I have heard practice makes progress. There we go. That's yeah, that's to say, yes. Practice makes perfect is the one that I go to.

Sarah McDowell:

But then I, I always think, oh, there's a more updated and a better version of that one.


Yeah, participants progress I like because life's a journey. And we're all tweaking ourselves as we go along.

Sarah McDowell:

100% 100%, wonderful, best career advice you ever received?


Well, the the best career advice I've received is around your personal visibility. Because years ago used to be we speak career careers for like 40 years, something like that, you don't have to worry about your personal visibility, you know, your progress in life is based on how many years you've been in a position in a business or whatever. Now, it matters more than ever, because the visibility and trust that you build up with people is so important. If people know like and trust you, it makes everything easier. When there's a difficult conversation to be had, for example, if people already know like and trust you, they're already more forgiving of you more understanding they're expecting the best of you. And I feel so passionate about it, I've actually got a free ebook that's available on the original IRS website that people can download, if they're interested, that will help people work on that that's based on lots of advice that I've picked up around. Doing that so people can improve their visibility and make all the conversations in life just that bit easier.

Sarah McDowell:

Amazing. Well, we'll make sure I can add a link to that in the show notes of this episode. So yeah, sounds like an incredible, valuable resource, just like this podcast episode has been. And last one that I'm going to squeeze in? Who would you recommend that our listeners follow that one person because they inspire you? Well,


I've been on holiday recently, and when I'm on holiday, I love reading a book. In fact, I read two books, but one was particularly good. And it was called Speak up by Megan rates, and John Higgins. And Megan rates actually got a TEDx talk as well, that kind of goes alongside it. But speak up the book is all about how to say what needs to be said, and hear what needs to be heard. And it's an absolutely brilliant book, if you've got powerful intimidating leaders in your environment, who have to kind of size up to to have conversations, or you work in environments where they're, they're really quite political. And it's hard to kind of figure out the right thing to say, I really recommend following them and reading the book, as well. It's quite small book, actually. They've got a framework in there called the truth framework, really simple. And it's handy to have in mind when you want to kind of speak up about something that is important to you. Amazing,

Sarah McDowell:

amazing. I feel like you've just been full of such wonderful golden nuggets today, Loretta, so thank you. And that book will link to in the show notes as well. So basically, just go and check out the show notes, because that's where you'll find everything. Loretta, if people want to find you and carry on the conversation or ask you some questions, where can they find you?


They can find me over on the originals website. I'm also very active on LinkedIn, and Instagram and Twitter are various other channels, but they're kind of my favourites if I'm honest.

Sarah McDowell:

Nice. Yeah. So again, I'm gonna sound like a broken record. But we'll pop all of those links in the show notes so you can follow Loretta and see what she what Loretta was posting, ask questions and carry on the conversation. Wow, this has been amazing. Thank you. So so much, so valuable. So Thank you, Loretta.


You're welcome. It's been great to have a conversation with you today.

Sarah McDowell:

That wasn't hard. And just a reminder that, yes, what I was saying earlier in the beginning of the podcast if you do like what me and Tazmin are doing and you enjoy the podcast episodes that we create, go to our buy me a coffee page and give us a one off donation. Thank you very much. The link is in our show notes and share right so at the end of this episode, you're probably thinking crikey, I need everyone to know about this conversation that I've listened to, but of such actionable tips. So yeah, find the link to this episode, and share it with them whether that's in person, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, however, you can share it, right, shall we say goodbye, and take care everyone and until next time

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About the Podcast

The SEO Mindset Podcast
Personal growth tips to help you to optimise your SEO career and not just the algorithms!
The SEO Mindset is a weekly podcast that gives you actionable, personal growth and development tips, guidance and advice, to help you to optimise your SEO career and not just the algorithms.

The podcast is dedicated to talking about important topics that aren't often spoken about in the industry such as imposter syndrome, burnout, anxiety, self awareness etc. Sarah and Tazmin, along with their special guests highlight important topics, share own experiences as well as giving actionable solutions. Basically we have open, honest and frank conversations to help others in the industry.

Each week we cover topics specific to careers in the SEO industry but also broader topics. We will help you to not only build your inner confidence but to also thrive in your career.

Your hosts are Mindset Coach Tazmin Suleman and SEO Manager Sarah McDowell, who between them have over 20 years experience working in the industry.
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About your hosts

Sarah McDowell

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I've been in Digital Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for around 10 years, currently working as the SEO Manager at Captivate (part of Global), the world's only growth-orientated podcast host. I am a self-confessed SEO nerd (I find the industry fascinated and love learning how search engines like Google work) and a bit of a podcast addict (with this being the fourth podcast I have hosted). I am also a speaker and trainer. I hope you enjoy this podcast!

Tazmin Suleman

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I am a Life Coach, helping people grow and thrive, however my background has included careers in Development, Data Integrity and SEO. Through coaching, mentoring and teaching I help people build happier more fulfilling professional and personal lives by changing their mindset and habits. I teach courses on these topics and have incorporated a lot of the teachings in this podcast. I hope you find it useful.