Dealing with Difficult Conversations

05 Apr

Image Credit: "Noooooooooo" by Pollobarba.

As one of the NewsU courses I was required to take, Dealing with Difficult Conversations was one of them and the one that I found most helpful.  I am a business management major and I know that I will need experience and knowledge on how to have difficult conversations in my profession. I have taken a few other courses from NewsU and this one was my favorite.

First off, the course gives a self-assessment to show how you deal with conflict, which is helpful.  The course says that knowing how you deal with conflict is the first step on being prepared to deal with a problem or serious situation.

The course listed and discussed 6 Steps that the course related to walking on a ‘tight rope’ on how to deal with a difficult conversation.

1. Prepare: Recognize how serious the conversation is and have a goal in mind. Plan out the best time and place to have the discussion.

2. Stepping Out: Have a plan on how to approach the issue. Remember body language when having the conversation can be crucial.

3. Balance Pole: Be balanced during the conversation; if they become angry don’t let them rock your attitude or behavior. Demonstrate emotional intelligence.

4. Safety Net: Be aware of rights and responsibilities of yourself and the other person. It may be a good idea to involve Human Resources, another employee, or even your superior during the conversation to ensure accountability.

5. Wrapping Up: Know when and how to end the conversation. It is a good time to end the conversation when you think the person understood the point you are trying to get across, your goals are met, and everyone had a chance to speak. The right way to end a conversation would be by recapping what you discussed and set up the next actions that need to take place.

6. Follow Up: Check up on the process and progress of the issue.  Complete any paperwork that needs to be documented about the conversation that took place and make it a point to make a personal connection with that person. Let him/her know you have moved past the problem.

No matter what takes places during your usual day or in your job, hard conversations will present themselves. The best way to face these problems are being prepared before they even happen. I found this course very applicable to everyone and very helpful – hopefully you will too!

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Posted by on April 5, 2011 in Topics of the Week


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