Communication Skills - Do Difficult Conversations Cause You Stress?

Communication Skills - Do Difficult Conversations Cause You Stress?

Nobody likes to have to carry out one of those infamous “difficult conversations.” But they don’t have to be as unpleasant as you may fear. It just takes a little bit of planning ahead.

  1. The very first step is to reframe your thinking. Put the interests of the other person first. Consider the upcoming conversation an opportunity to help your employee make better behavioral choices. Think of the feedback you’ll be giving as constructive rather than simply negative. Jot down a few of the points you want to make so you don’t leave out any critical observation.

  2. Next try to think about the behavior from the other’s perspective. Might there be an explanation for the way they are acting? If you don’t know, ask…not for excuses but for the larger context.

  3. When it is time to give the feedback, do so in a straightforward way. Be fair and unemotional. Be courageous rather than apologetic. You are the boss. It is your responsibility to hold your team accountable and to see that they uphold the standards of performance that were agreed upon when they took the job and that align with your unique corporate culture.

So don’t get hot under the collar. Deliver the news and look forward to improved performance and a relationship that is still intact.

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