How To Handle Difficult Conversations At Work
Difficult conversations are awkward. These conversations leave behind an unpleasant vibe in the professional experience and can also lead to a toxic workplace environment. Whether it’s about informing the employee for no raise or denial in a promotion or explaining to the client how that most awaited project might just have to wait due to a delay for some reason, it is never really easy to initiate the conversation. So, why exactly is it important to invest your time for a particular training in a difficult conversation?
Like it or not, but at some point, these types of conversations are bound to happen. Hence, here’s something one can take note of and work on managing difficult conversations smoothly.
- Planning Your Conversation Ahead:
One should plan ahead how exactly the conversation might go. When disclosing the news to the other side, it is advised to be prepared. These conversations can lead to follow-up questions from the person at the receiving end of the news. It is best to analyse the type of question a person might ask and based on that create a mental note of it. The more prepared you are, the less are the chances of being flustered all of the sudden.
2. Be Straightforward:
Avoid beating around the bush and be straightforward. Be honest and to the point while talking to that person. The chance is that person might just understand your reason and act professionally. Difficult conversations require full clarity. So, make sure to instill a straight, clear, and specific reason while talking to someone.
3. Don’t Avoid It:
The longer you avoid any tough conversation, the more it becomes difficult to talk about it. This builds up your anxiety which creates a scenario that isn’t even that big. One should understand that it’s important to make others and yourself feel better rather than just being ignorant about certain topics. Create a habit for initiating a brief conversation about any topic that might need your attention towards making the employee feel better.
4. Watch Your Language:
The words you might use during the conversation matters a lot. Therefore, be as smooth as possible. As much as providing fair feedback can be critical, one should not forget to convey a way to tackle them. You will also want to talk about a better outcome for the problem. A positive outcome directly reflects the performance of the employee and helps them stay consistent towards their work profile.
5. Be Empathetic:
Sometimes difficult conversation leads to a tense environment between two people. This doesn’t only result in a fallout but also strained working conditions. Therefore, it’s important to know what the counterpart might feel like during the conversation. Don’t ask for sympathy. This will probably create more bitter ties between the two of you. Try to provide empathy and understand their perspective.
6. Talk About Solutions:
After providing the feedback, your goal should be to provide a solution to their problems. If you aren’t able to come up with any solution on your own, ask them to provide their perspective. Listen to their ideas and try to bring your own to the table. With a two-way conversation and clarity on how to overcome the problem, you can now commit to the resolution. Make sure to put your plan in action.
7. Consider Their Problem As Your Own:
While discussing their problem, be considerate. Use the word “We” instead of “I” to avoid tension and create a positive conversation impact. This behavior will not only help the management to stay positive but showcase your leadership.
Don’t let one bad interaction ruin your day. Learn how to tackle those awkward and difficult situations to your work relationships and reputation. Looking for leadership and management courses in Perth? JEM management training helps you identify the tools necessary to ensure those conversations go smoothly, effectively, and end on a high note irrespective of content.
Next time you have to have a difficult conversation, keep these points in mind to ensure that it’s all well versed.