How to Conduct Difficult Conversations
One of the greatest challenges for new managers is being able to conduct difficult conversations successfully. Approaching difficult conversations with a win-lose mentality is a common new manager mistake that often results in neither party feeling satisfied.
The Top Seven Most Dreaded Conversations
New managers tell us that the following conversations are the most difficult to conduct:
Many tell us that just the thought of what may lie ahead and how wrong it could go hampers their ability to be effective.
Four Tips for New Managers on How to Conduct Difficult Conversations
Here are a few tips on how to conduct difficult conversations better:
Plan for the discussion, know your goal for the conversation, and let emotions settle down. But don’t put off the conversation for more than one day.
This is the time to use your best active listening skills. Ultimately, you want the situation to improve. To make that happen, you need the cooperation of your direct report.
Show empathy but, at the same time, don’t reduce your expectations for acceptable behavior and performance.
As a manager, you should be in control as moves are made in the right direction.
The Bottom Line
These simple, straightforward tips can keep the conversation timely, productive and on track. The good news is that you’ll get better with experience. In the meantime, get ready, get set and go for it!
To learn more about how to conduct difficult conversations, download Effective Communication Skills – The Essential Ingredient in Any Interaction
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