How Can I Say This...

How Can I Say This...

The “How Can I Say This…” podcast offers tips and advice for interpersonal communications challenges, such as difficult conversations, conflict, giving and receiving feedback, negotiating, and other situations where what you say and how you say it makes all the difference. Your host is Beth Buelow, PCC, founder of ZOPA Consulting and author of “The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms.” Beth’s credentialed professional coach and trained mediator. She loves finding the “Zone of Possible Agreement” (ZOPA!) in any situation that comes her way. She hosted The Introvert Entrepreneur Podcast from 2010-2018. In every episode of "How Can I Say This...", you’ll find ideas about how to handle your communication conundrums; tips on feeling more confident and comfortable with conflict; opportunities to learn from real-life situations through questions shared by listeners; and ultimately, gain skills and techniques for dealing with sticky situations at work and home. Of course, we can’t be all talk and no action; each show will end with an invitation to try a particular technique or approach that came up in the episode. Episodes will feature a mixture of commentary, listener questions, and expert guest interviews and contributions. The scope of conversation will evolve over time… we’re open to seeing where this goes. Thanks for joining us on the journey! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


May 14, 2021 43 mins

As the vintage advertising for Virginia Slims cigarettes told women, you’ve come a long way, baby. Women have carved out a bigger seat at the table over the past 70 years. But we still have challenges when it comes to our voices being heard.

Our question this episode: How can women claim their space through confident communication that also builds relationship?

My guest is Eliza VanCort, author of “A Woman's Guide to Claimin...

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There are lots of things that get in the way of our ability to successfully handle conflict. They often have to do with a limiting mindset, a leaning towards people pleasing, misidentifying the root cause of the conflict, or not creating a safe environment for feedback or different opinions. The good news is that there’s a lot we can personally do to remove those barriers.

Our question this episode: What are some simple but pow...

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April 16, 2021 36 mins

Whether we’re aware of it or not, the past year has introduced most everyone to a new language. Words that we used in one context, such as equality, equity, diversity, belonging, and systems, are now taking on new meaning and are being used in new contexts. It’s not always easy to keep up, but for the sake of courageous conversations, it’s important we try. Our question this episode: how do we talk respectfully and directly about m...

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We spend a lot of time thinking about how to have conversations with people we care about. After all, these are the relationships that have the biggest influence in our lives. But what if we spent as much time thinking about the conversations we have with strangers? Could there be new experiences we’re missing out on that would enrich our lives?

Our question this episode: how do you start a conversation with a stranger that mig...

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February 22, 2021 15 mins

It’s a reflexive question most of us ask when we start a conversation, and it’s one of the easiest and most challenging questions to answer: how are you? Every time it comes up, I find myself hesitating just a little. This is especially true in the past year, when it feels like an extremely loaded question.

Our question this episode: how far do you go when you answer, “how are you?”

Hosted by Beth L. Buelow. Full episode tra...

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February 5, 2021 18 mins

It happens to all of us, no matter how many times we’ve been in a difficult conversation: we get nervous. We feel stress. That stress can show up in lots of ways: in our body language, breathing patterns, our seeming inability to put words together in a logical order. Even when we figure out what we want to say and how to say it, we can tie ourselves up in nervous knots.

Our question this episode: how can you work through stres...

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January 9, 2021 12 mins

How can I say this? When you have a day like January 6, 2021 in the United States, it’s hard to know what to say. It left many of us speechless, then enraged, mortified, and confused. When societal norms are violated in such a violent manner, words often escape us. And then we become unable to see the people we feel have violated us as our fellow human beings. We also can refuse to acknowledge those who do the right thing after lon...

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December 31, 2020 15 mins

While every year has its ups and downs, 2020 will go down as an especially interesting year for lots of reasons. Our everyday vocabulary expanded to include words previously only used by doctors, lawyers, and politicians. And the conversations we’ve had with friends, family, and colleagues have challenged our understanding of what we thought was true. Sometimes, the new understanding leads to a re-evaluation of the relationship, or...

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For those of us that grew up with a rotary telephone glued to the wall and no answering machine, the idea of being connected 24/7 everywhere we go still has a bit of novelty to it. I still sometimes marvel that while I walk my dog or go on errands, I’m basically carrying the world in my pocket. That convenience can lead to complacency, which can compromise our approach to conversations that happen over and through advanced technolo...

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Awkward, emotional, uncomfortable. This is how many of us feel when we try to talk about race. But we need to know how to have these conversations if we’re going to make progress toward a more equitable and high-functioning society. Negotiation expert Kwame Christian joins me to give us some starting points on how to talk about race, particularly in a work environment.

This episode is also available on YouTube! Listen AND watch...

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A coaching client recently reminded me of a truth that’s easy to forget: if you want to have a great conversation with someone, focus on trying to be interested, rather than interesting. And how do we demonstrate interest? We ask questions. But there’s more to it than that, and not all questions are created equal. Our question this episode: how can we use curiosity to make more meaningful connections with others? 

My guest ...

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As life in the pandemic continues, our capacity for empathy and connection can come and go. Sometimes it’s easy to be present for our loved ones, and other times, we need space and just to be left alone. Asking for what we need and having boundaries can be challenging enough during non-stressful times, but add a pandemic and all that comes with it into the mix? Things get more complicated.

Our question this episode: how can we t...

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We all know that our physical surroundings influence our mood and ability to focus. But do we fully appreciate how much they affect our communication? How a room is arranged, what’s in the space, and how welcoming it is all contribute – or detract – from being able to have productive conversations. Our question this episode: what does our physical space have to do with our capacity for connection?

My special guest is Rebecca Wes...

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If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you know that on the surface we talk about communication, but underneath that, we’re really talking about relationships. Caring about another person is why we are thoughtful about how we speak with one another. Today we’re going to hear from two listeners that have very different situations but share some common themes. I'm also pleased to welcome Rebecca West of Seriously Happy...

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When we think of negotiators, we often think of people who are trying to find a bargain, job seekers, or people on the front lines of a hostage situation. Those things might be true some of the time, but there’s so much more to it than that. Life is a negotiation; and right now, it’s showing up in the form of negotiating new structures, working arrangements, and relationships in light of the coronavirus pandemic. We’re all negotiat...

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April 2, 2020 17 mins

When we’re in close quarters with someone for a long time, even the strongest of relationships can be tested. In this episode, I offer you a simple mantra that can help you stay calm and compassionate while we shelter-in-place. #spaceandgrace

Hosted by Beth L. Buelow, PCC. More information and downloadable mantra images at Your feedback, shares, reviews and ratings are welcome!

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March 20, 2020 46 mins

It’s a phrase I’ve heard over and over these past few years: there’s no point in trying to talk to them. Them is always the person with whom we have strong disagreements, or it might represent an entire group of people we’ve decided are unreachable. But there is a point; it’s just not what you might think. Our question this episode: how can we get past our surface differences to find our common humanity?

My guest is Kern Beare,...

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When we think of forming new habits, our minds go to the obvious – changing what we eat, how much we exercise, what time we go to bed or get up in the morning, deciding to meditate. Those are all good habits to pay attention to, and there’s one more to add that can change your life just as much. Our question this episode: which small word choices make a huge difference in the effectiveness of our communication?

You can find past...

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February 8, 2020 17 mins

There are many ways to evaluate the health of a social connection. We know to notice eye contact, body language, tone of voice and balance of listening and talking. But what about laughter? We intuitively know that when we laugh together, there’s a high probability we like one another or have something in common. It can also signal discomfort, a power indifference, or low self-esteem. Our question this episode: what are the ways la...

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There’s a widely circulated saying that people fear public speaking more than death. That funny but misguided bit of trivia distracts us from the opportunity we have whenever we’re given the literal or metaphorical microphone and invited to share our thoughts.

Our question this episode: what strategies for overcoming public speaking anxiety can help us be better communicators?

If you don’t consider yourself a public speaker...

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