8 Ways To Handle A Difficult Conversation

Humans find it hard to deal with bad experiences. People do not like to face the tough situations. They try to avoid conflict and confrontation at any price. This is in human nature.

Truth is at times we all have to handle a difficult conversation. No escape.

Your relationship has hit rock bottom. Neither you or your partner are initiating a conversation. Both of you are keeping quiet. Both of you know this one is going to be a tough conversation. But you are putting it off. For now….

At work you notice a co-worker is being an arsehole for quite while now.  He is being rude to everyone around  and to customers too…. Your surprised with the team leader. He is saying nothing. He is putting off the conversation…. For how long?

Let’s take your relationship. Is it getting any better by avoiding to talk to your partner. The answer is no. You need to have that tough conversation.

What about the co-worker in the work place. Has his behaviour changed? Very likely, no. So the team leader should prepare for that difficult conversation.

Why we put on hold tough conversations?

  • We think discussing the issue may make everything worse.
  • We might get hurt.
  • We may hear something that we don’t want to hear.
  • We fear our opinion may hurt other person.

There are ways to help you handle this conversation effectively and in healthy way.

1. Acknowledge the avoidance wont work.

First thing is to recognize avoiding the conversation wont make things better. The problem still be there tomorrow and the next day. And it’s likely things could get worse if the issue is not addressed.

2. Consider timing.

Find the time that is convenient for both of you.  Maybe agree on timing before hand would be good idea.

3. Prepare to listen to their option from their prespective, first.

Be fully present. Give them undivided attention. Have the attitude that others can be right too. Listen. Be respectful. Find out the facts from their prespective. For just a moment put yourself in their shoes. How does it feel?

4. Be assertive, be constructive.

Focus on what you want to achieve ftom this coversation. Your purpose and intention. Be clear on your point. Being assertive don’t mean being arrogant. Keep that in mind. Express your point of view. How this issue has affected you,  or if there are others involved how has it affected the business.

Experts also suggest “being soft” with the person you having this conversation. Truth is sometimes there is no place to be soft.

5. Manage your emotions, focus on the facts.

Emotions and diverse opinions is what make these conversations difficult. Well control these emotions. Focus more on the facts. Say what is the outcome you are expecting from this issue.

6. Seek compromise if there could be a compromise.

Take a hard look if there could be an agreement. So you should because you’re a good human being and you don’t enjoy causing unnecessary pain. Seek common ground when possible. Ask questions. Be accurate. Do not rush in premature decisions.

7. Don’t rush to get the conversation over and done.

No-one is comfortable with tough conversations. However do not rush to get it over and done. Take time to observe every little detail that might can change the outcome of this conversation.

If you think you might need to talk more over about it, give it few days. It can help to ease the tension too. Then follow up.

8. It’s all about the truth in the end.

In the end is all about the problem solving and that can only be accomplished based on the truth of the matter. It has to be done. Even if it hurts.

Photo credit Google Images

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