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How to Handle Difficult Workplace Conversations

Posted by HRDQ on 10/17/2018 to Communication

You can navigate difficult discussions more effectively

Difficult conversations are bound to happen in the workplace. It’s only a matter of time before a manager has to convey disappointment, let an employee go, or express disagreement with a decision. How you handle difficult conversations can make all the difference. If you remain calm and stick to the task at hand, you can walk away with more satisfaction that you thought was possible.

Some conversations can be difficult because hurting people’s feelings is unpleasant. Sometimes the news being delivered is out of your control, or maybe you yourself even disagree with the decision that you are delivering. But part of being a manager, or even just being an employee at any level, means that you will eventually have to have these discussions and handle these conversations with skill.

Examples of hard conversations in the workplace include:

  • Delivering bad news, such as layoffs, terminations, or denied requests for promotion
  • Giving people negative feedback on their performance or behavior
  • Saying “no” when people ask you to do something will not do
  • Asking people to do something unpleasant, difficult, or outside the scope of their responsibility
  • Acknowledging mistakes you have made

None of these are easy. But HRDQ has soft skills training resources that can help with difficult discussions. “Navigating Difficult Conversations: Deliver Your Message with Poise, Empathy, and Resolve” is a reproducible title that will allow you to understand the nature of difficult conversations and what it takes to handle them. Participants will be able to identify the seven stages of handling difficult conversations, use empathy in a way that minimizes negative responses and strengthens relationships, apply best practices for preparing, initiating, and delivering the conversation, and discover how to generate solutions and bring the conversation to a close. Click here to learn more.

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