Achieve the best possible outcome from a difficult conversation
Do you dread tacking a difficult converesation?
How do you tackle a difficult conversation with someone, such as a colleague in the workplace? Does it fill you with dread and make you feel anxious? Perhaps you see it as confrontation, ending in arguments, disputes and bad feelings. Rather than have that difficult conversation, would you rather avoid the issue, hoping it will go away?
Confront – to face, meet, or deal with a difficult situation or person
As professional women, if we don’t face up to a difficult conversation or situation, there are likely to be adverse effects.
The issue gnaws away at us
It causes resentful feelings, or an atmosphere
The relationship between those involved deteriorates
We make sarcastic comments alluding to the issue, instead of addressing it
We bottle up our feelings until we just spew it all out in anger
We are seen as someone who cannot deal with issues in a professional manner
It eats away at our self-confidence, unable to stand up for ourselves in the future
3 key suggestions to approach a difficult conversation
# 1 Preparation
Enter the conversation cool and prepared
Choose ONE issue to discuss. If you try to address more than one, it will dilute your point, and confuse the other person. Be clear on what you want to achieve and the best possible outcome. Otherwise you won’t resolve the problem, and you may be seen as ranting. Choose the time and a quiet venue where you won’t be disturbed to have the difficult conversation as you want the other person’s full attention. Then write down all the points you want to make, again sticking to ONE issue.
Don’t play the Blame Game. Avoid making accusations, as the other person is likely to feel defensive and respond by attacking you. Its much more effective to own your feelings and thoughts and use phrases such as –
I think I feel I am uncomfortable I am unhappy
Be prepared to listen, without interrupting – however difficult that may feel. Then be curious and interested, asking the other person to explain if you don’t fully understand. It’s better not to make assumptions, as it can lead to misunderstandings. It’s important to be aware of your triggers – things that push your buttons, and not necessarily relevant to this situation. If that happens take a deep breath – and don’t react. If you should be met with accusations, or hostility, stay calm and try to listen to their side attentively. Empathise, but that doesn’t mean you have to agree. Only then put forward your side, in a calm way.
#3 The Outcome
Be prepared to negotiate in a way that you don’t leaving feeling defeated. At the end of the difficult conversation thank the other person for listening. This is more likely to encourage future positive and meaningful discussions. By practicing beforehand, and visualising a positive outcome, and following these guidelines you are greatly increasing your changes of achieving a positive outcome.
Wendy Capewell - BACP(accred) is qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist. Initially working with individuals in a generalised practice for more than 10 years. She quickly recognised that many clients experienced problems in their relationships. As a result she started to specialise as a Relationship Specialist. Mainly working with couples on issues that affect their personal relationships. Although she also works with individuals too. The lack of effective communication can often be one of the key elements that affect relationships. The techniques in the article can be easily transferred to other situations.
“If you have a brain you have a bias” and nowhere is this more apparent than in our hiring processes.
The ‘How to Mitigate Bias in the Recruitment Process’ programme is designed to convey the serious nature of bias in the recruitment process with a focus on gender bias and the way it impacts both businesses and organisations, but in a way that is thought-provoking and engaging.
April 23rd - Podcast with Ross Thornley on the Future of Work at 11:00
April 26th - How to create a bias conscious workplace - Corporate Workshop
May 10th - How to manage remote teams more inclusively - Corporate Workshop
May 12th - Strategies to achieve work-life balance and stress management - Corporate Workshop
Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally digital world.
This is Session #6 Building Your Confidence! Something that most people struggle with. Learn how to use simple tools to give you a structured approach to building your confidence when returning to work.read more
This online workshop Back to Basics, Strugglers and Jugglers will suit anyone who is job seeking, taking a career pivot, or taken a gap from work for any reason at all.
It can be parenting leave, maternity leave, sick leave or a grown-up gap year – it doesn’t ...read more
Identifying your transferable skills is something that most people struggle with. Learn how to use simple tools to give you a structured approach to identifying your achievements and success stories.read more
In this Power Podcast with Dorothy Dalton and Sofie-Ann Bracke you will discover Facial Movements: Do you Freeze, Flight or Fight? Find out your Personal Non-Verbal Repertoire how facial movements happen all the time whilst we interact.read more
How to Create an Effective USP
What is a USP?
Our Unique Selling Point or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is our key core message about where and how we add value. Many people and particularly women think this only applies to celebrities, senior leaders or ...read more
How to Rethink the Modern Workplace for Gender Equality
New research shows that diversity and inclusion is a top priority for leaders. So why is the needle moving backward when it comes to gender equality at work? #WorkTrends Meghan Biro and Kevin Grossman ...read more
Menopause in the workplace
In this podcast with Nicki Williams award winning author, keynote speaker and Founder of Happy Hormones for Life, we take look at a one of the big pink elephants in the room - the impact of menopause in the workplace. Nicki shares ...read more
How to Cultivate Empathy in the Workplace
Nancy Milton, international business communications expert, keynote speaker and author, share some vital tips in this short podcast on how to cultivate empathy in the workplace. Empathy is a skill that people ...read more
Taking Care of your COW
Tanvi Guatam, international Personal Branding expert says there is a misconception out there that a personal brand is something of an outside-in job, i.e. that you decide your destination/goals and start building a brand towards ...read more
The importance of Hard Talk
Dawn Metcalfe, author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk, shares with us tips to achieve the lasting communication skills needed to tackle the difficult conversations we encounter in the workplace. Hard Talk answers the big ...read more
When Does Female Rivalry Turn into Sabotage
There’s a lot of stuff written on social media about female rivalry and competition between women. Some of it makes sense and some of it is confusing. Organizations are pyramids with fewer roles at the top than ...read more
Goal setting tips to boost your career
The happiest people are those that really love their jobs. Those that don’t, dread Sunday nights and the upcoming work week. So how do you get to a place where you look forward to a new week of doing what satisfies ...read more
How to Get Noticed by Head Hunters & Recruiters
In this power coaching podcast, we're going to tackle one of the questions asked multiple times a week by active job seekers and passive candidates.
How can I get noticed by head hunters and recruiters and ...read more
Why all women need a strong LinkedIn profile
Data on women on LinkedIn has always been hard to get and analyse, but some new information sheds light on how women use the platform differently to their male colleagues and what those differences mean. You will ...read more
You’ve found out that you’re pregnant and are excited to share the news with your family but then you realise… you’re going to have to tell your line manager too. Is your manager effectively supporting maternity leave transitions?