How to Have a Difficult Conversation in the Workplace

Every business process involves tireless group discussions, collaborative strategies, and the incorporation of digital methods, to name a few. With all the varying business components, it often gets hard to convey your concerns to your team members and senior officials. Conversations with team members, senior leaders, stakeholders, and clients might not always go the way you want. Incoherent business discussions can lead to heated arguments and inefficient business productivity. To avoid such situations, it is crucial to learn how to have a difficult conversation in the workplace. In her blog, Susanne Madsen shares several tips to help you initiate a challenging discussion.

How to Have a Difficult Conversation: Acknowledge the Problem

Before initiating a challenging conversation, identify the reasons that make that conversation difficult. There could be different reasons. For instance, you have a lot at stake or conflicting opinions. Furthermore, strong emotional force on both sides is one of the crucial reasons for organizational friction. Saying no to a person requesting work or additional responsibilities is another reason for workplace conflict. Acknowledge the workplace dynamics that are stopping you from having the conversation.

How to Deal with Emotions

Madsen states that our emotions help us to feel safe in our surroundings. However, there are instances when they can overpower your thought processes. It is necessary to keep your emotions in control when communicating with another individual with opposing views. Many business leaders try to hide their actual opinions because they might hurt other people’s feelings. Madsen mentions, “But when difficult topics aren’t openly discussed they will mushroom under the surface. That can cause dysfunctional team behaviour, where sarcastic comments are made but never fully explored.”  

How to Have a Difficult Conversation

Here is a list of things you can do to have an effortless conversation in your organization setting:

Focus on your self-awareness.Prepare for the discussion.Prioritize understanding rather than being understood.Concentrate on your response rather than reacting.

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