Do difficult conversations at work need to be difficult?

Let’s face it no one likes conflict, do they?

However, difficult conversations at work are an inevitable part of our professional life. And the number one reason many of us go to great lengths to avoid difficult conversations at work? Fear of conflict.

As managers, we’re often very hesitant to engage with employees for fear they may become upset if the conversation doesn’t go well. In fact, most of us don’t perform well in conflict situations. Or anywhere when we feel under emotional pressure. But does it really have to be that way?

Some work conversations are inherently difficult

Often conversations are made difficult through lack of preparation. That includes not having the necessary training to handle difficult conversations and conflict in the workplace. Just think how much time and energy could be saved if we were better skilled at tackling them?

Being able to deal more effectively with difficult conversations in the workplace benefits both employees and your organisation. You not only feel more empowered but others do too. Improved negotiations, better staff morale, higher retention of great employees and rising talent. The knock on effect of smoother, more positive conversations is endless.

When you look at your management team's ability to handle these sorts of conversations, are they as good as they should be? How prepared are they for any difficult work based conflict that may come their way? Would they benefit from the right sort of behaviour change training?

  • Are they able to plan and prepare effectively for any difficult conversation
  • Can they handle difficult conversations positively, confidently and professionally
  • Do they understand how to use language and the emotive power of words
  • How quickly can they plan strategies to cope with negative responses or opposition
  • Are they able to project calm and control in stressful situations

Conversations at work can be less difficult with the right sort of guidance

When you have the right preparation and skills you can control both your own behaviour and emotions in a challenging situation, and positively influence the outcome for others. That’s a win-win situation for everyone concerned including the organisation.

Handle Difficult Conversations - half day module on managing difficult conversations at work

Our Handle Difficult Conversations programme provides a range of highly effective strategies and practical planning techniques to handle any difficult conversation.

It’s one of a range of programmes in our Resilience & Grit behaviour change performance area. Actors are required to deliver exceptional performance under intense pressure. And consistently put themselves forward for new experiences. This range of modules adapts the secret formulas and strategies they use to build and develop resilience into a range of tools that will help professionals perform more successfully in even the most difficult and demanding work situations. Other modules in the programme include: