Money·3 min read

Ashley Sumner on How to Prep for an Important Meeting

Photo: Kelly Bach
March 25, 2024

As the founder and CEO of Liminal, a platform that matches people to mindset coaches, Ashley Sumner is passionate about helping others realize their potential. And as a leader, she knows a thing or two about dealing with workplace pressure and staying focused on big goals. Below, she shares her advice for giving difficult feedback, prepping (but not overprepping) for an important meeting, and paying it forward when you get your paycheck.

Ashley Sumner questions and answers
Design: theSkimm

Advice for what to do when you…

Have to give difficult feedback…

Speak from your heart, and say the hardest thing first. Then allow for a silent moment while the feedback lands in the other person’s psyche. Offer reasons with a direct and compassionate tone. Allow questions, but also give them space to process for a day or two, and then follow up for an additional conversation to answer any questions and to also make sure they heard you clearly.

Are prepping for an important meeting…

Be clear on the goal of the meeting. Ask yourself: What has to happen to make this a great meeting? Spend time considering what the motivations or needs are of each person in the meeting. Have a short list of points you want to hit, and allow for intuition to guide the rest.


Failure only exists in the mind of someone who thinks they were in control of the outcome. Reframe a “fail” as a life experience designed for you to grow and evolve as a human, instead of overidentifying with it. Be grateful you got to experience something new and keep going.

Are asked your biggest weakness...

Start with a light answer, like “chocolate.” Then, honestly answer with a weakness you've had in the past but with a clear example of how it is no longer something you are navigating and how you made that happen. Self-awareness develops trust.

Feel stuck...

Move your body. Dance, go on a run, take a yoga class, anything to get you connected to yourself. We get stuck when we live in our heads, and our bodies are the only way out.

Need to focus…

Go to YouTube and find a five-minute breathwork exercise or go on a refreshing, tech-free walk.

Get your paycheck...

Have a moment of deep gratitude and appreciation that you have one. Then buy someone else’s coffee.

Answers are edited and condensed for clarity.

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