How To Have Difficult Conversations At Work - Deepstash

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Be direct

Be direct

When having a difficult conversation, be direct and get to the point quickly.

Difficult conversations become even more difficult when the delivery is complicated.

Most of the time, the person you're talking to knows that a critique is coming, so rather than dancing around the subject, just get to it.

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Be specific

Be specific

The more clarity you can provide, the better the critique will be received during a difficult conversation.

Be honest and thorough with your feedback, and fully clarify why you're having the conversation. Offer as many concrete examples as possible so the person understands you're not just pulling things out of thin air. 

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Plan out the conversation

Plan out the conversation

Prepar for a difficut conversation in advance: think of what you’re going to say, as well as anticipate how the other person might react

The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to stay even tempered and not get flustered, and therefore deliver a more solid critique.

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Choose your words

Choose your words

You must outline the critique and the reason you’re having the conversation, but don’t stop there. You’ll also want to talk about the outcome you’d like to see.  

Illustrating what a positive outcome looks like gives the employee something solid to work towards, and helps them understand why they’re being disciplined.

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Offer a solution

Offer a solution

Clearly explain the reason for the conversation, the specific critique, and then offer suggestions to improve.

Even if the conversation is to fire an employee, you should still offer a suggestion that will help them improve in their next job.

Nothing is worse than delivering a critique and leaving it just at that. 

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Manage your emotions

Manage your emotions

Keep difficult conversations in an even tone and keep it professional. If you get emotional, so will the other person.

When emotions start to take over, remind yourself that the more in control you are of your emotions, the better you'll be able to deliver the message.

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Questions serve a double purpose

Questions serve a double purpose

Asking questions helps the participants to conversations process what’s happened and allows you to clarify and solidify details of the conversation. 

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