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The Power of Conversations (ft. Andora Hinton)

AHFter Hours Podcast

January 17, 2022

26 minutes

The Power of Conversations (ft. Andora Hinton)

From difficult conversations to facing unconscious bias, managing our relationships is one of the most important— and powerful— ways to chart a course through our lives and careers.


Andora Hinton is the founder and CEO of Willow North Growth Partners, a leadership development and sales training provider for corporations around the globe. Her goal is to help professionals transform both their professional and personal lives in a way that leads to monumental transformations in their work. Over the course of her career, she’s developed extensive knowledge on the strategies and techniques that lead to real results for both individuals and organizations.

Learn more about Andora Hinton:


[2:19] -- Difficult Conversations, Essential Progress

The hardest conversations lead to the greatest breakthroughs

One constant in professional life is that relationships are always changing and evolving. A coworker becomes a boss, a close friend becomes a sometimes-difficult coworker, and a project doesn’t go as planned. Willingness to have— and prepare for— productive conflict is essential, even when it gets uncomfortable.

[8:28] -- Objective vs. Subjective Feedback

...and where they belong

Objective feedback is feedback that’s not based on an individual’s feelings, while subjective feedback can differ from one person to the next based on their opinions, circumstances, and perspectives. Both have a place, but objective feedback is less personal and can often be less damaging. Focus on behavior, rather than the person or their identity, and watch how difficult conversations become more productive.

[14:32] -- The Danger of Unconscious Bias

How can we correct biases we’re not even aware of consciously?

Want to reduce your biases? Start with self-awareness. Emotional intelligence is partially the ability to look inward and recognize where we fall short. Ask, “What if my thinking is wrong about X, Y, or Z?” Sometimes, you may not like the answer— but that’s a clue that it’s time to work on changing your perspective and evolving. Evolving is a beautiful thing.

[16:59] -- The Power of Walking Away

Sometimes you have to abandon ship

When a difficult conversation is going up in flames, how do you save it? Sometimes, the answer is to postpone it entirely. Andora advocates for an approach that sometimes requires one party to say, “Apparently this is not a great time for us to have this conversation. Let’s reconvene at another time.” Sometimes, simply rescheduling a conversation can ensure that both parties are in a better headspace for when it finally does occur.

[23:06] -- Don’t Wait. Conversate.

Delaying difficult conversations for too long can be damaging

Rescheduling a difficult conversation for a more opportune time is fine. Delaying it as a means of avoidance is dangerous. If you’ve waited three months to confront someone about an event that occurred months ago, often the problem is too deep, the details too fuzzy, and the biases about the event too hard coded to make real progress. The best time to have a difficult conversation is yesterday. The second-best time is today.

[25:27] -- Key Takeaways

Can’t-miss tips from this week’s episode 

  • Focus on managing your emotions throughout difficult conversations
  • Share the ‘why’
  • Work on reducing your unconscious bias
  • See conflict as a result of an unmet need
  • Practice having difficult conversations, like any skill
  • Prepare in advance for conversations, keeping in mind your desired outcome
  • Timing is key— have a conversation as soon as possible, while accounting for unhelpful mindsets that could derail you




The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is the world’s largest HIV/AIDS service organization, operating in 45 countries globally. The mission? Providing cutting-edge medicine and advocacy for everyone, regardless of ability to pay.

The AHFter Hours podcast is an official podcast of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, in which host Lauren Hogan is joined by experts in a range of fields to educate, inform, and inspire listeners on topics that go far beyond medical information to cover leadership, creativity, and success. 

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Lauren Hogan is the Communications Manager for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and has been working in a series of roles with the Foundation since 2016. She’s passionate about increasing the public visibility of AIDS, the Foundation's critical work, and how everyday people can help join the fight to make cutting-edge medicine, treatment, and support available for anyone who needs it.


In Detroit, history was made when Barry Gordy opened Motown Records back in 1960. More than just discovering great talent, Gordy built a systematic approach to launching superstars. His rigorous processes, technology, and development methods were the secret sauce behind legendary acts such as The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, and Michael Jackson.

As a nod to the past, Detroit Podcast Studios leverages modern versions of Motown’s processes to launch today’s most compelling podcasts. What Motown was to musical artists, Detroit Podcast Studios is to podcast artists today. 

With over 75 combined years of experience in content development, audio production, music scoring, storytelling, and digital marketing, Detroit Podcast Studios provides full-service development, training, and production capabilities to take podcasts from messy ideas to finely tuned hits.

Here’s to making (podcast) history together.

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