Difficult conversations can occur anytime when dealing with your clients, employees, or anyone else. Interestingly, not everyone has the skills to handle difficult conversations at work, and that’s where they lack in dealing with people/clients. The crucial part here is handling that situation without creating a bad outcome.
Dealing with difficult conversations at work isn’t easy, yet nearly everyone will face this situation at least once in their lifetime. Hence, you should all learn how to handle a difficult conversation.
Nowadays, numerous online courses are available to handle a difficult conversation at work and help lead their trainee’s towards more favourable outcomes. Here is a snapshot of some topics covered in the courses, and proven tips that will help you deal with the difficult conversations if/when you encounter them yourself:
Change Your Mindset: Whenever you enter a difficult situation, most people feel an adrenaline rush and increased anxiety. This can make the situation especially challenging, resulting in unpredictable outcomes. One very helpful solution is to simply change your mindset. There are numerous alternatives to proceeding with a difficult conversation, but which one you opt for matters. You should prepare a solution-driven mindset and focus on a good outcome instead of continuing the conversation.
Take a Deep Breathe: Anxiety is common if you are anticipating on having a difficult conversation. Sometimes, you even get into a heated argument that has unfavourable outcomes, which can be damaging to all kinds workplace relationships. Hence, staying calm and taking a deep breath during your conversation will make it much more approachable for both parties. A deep breath will help you refocus on the conversation and take it in the right direction.
In some cases, you can even request a break and give both parties some time to think and continue the conversation with a fresh mind.
Know Your Counterpart’s Perspective: It’s always tough to continue the difficult conversation with a ‘my-way’ mindset. You should always understand the counterpart’s perspective and acknowledge their authority or opinion on a subject. You can’t be right every time. You should also find the problem and its solution alongside understanding the counterpart’s perspective.
Knowing what your counterpart is thinking can give you a detailed picture of their mindset and let you answer them even better, with more empathy and understanding.
Keep Your Tone Low & Listen: Don’t increase your tone even if you are right. Instead, stay calm, keep your tone low and listen to the counterpart’s thoughts. Later on, you can share your views and give a better explanation to every point they share. Adding facts and data can do wonders to help support your points, you don’t need to raise your voice to prove this. Hence, you should focus on sharing facts if you think the counterpart isn’t going in the right direction.
In many professional industries handling difficult conversations is a skill that will benefit most employees, managers and team members. Handling difficult conversations can occur in personal or professional lives too, so remember to take these transferable skills and handle these situations calmly, politely and wisely. With these tips, you can help alleviate nearly all difficult conversation like a pro!