Some conversations are more difficult than others. It’s often easier to avoid confrontation and overlook some of the indicators that performance is suffering. However, if we avoid the difficult conversations, the impact on us and others can lead to frustration, avoidance, or even emotional outbursts. These reactions can impact performance and motivation. So, what makes these conversations difficult?
A difficult conversation is anything we find hard to talk about. We shy away from difficult conversations because we don’t want hurt feelings, don’t know how to handle the situation, or are afraid of the other person’s reactions.
Any of these barriers can get in the way of motivating teams to achieve results. With the high levels of performance needed for organizations to succeed today, these conversations can’t be put off any longer. Overcoming the obstacles to initiating the conversation is the FIRST step to turning a difficult conversation into a useful conversation.
If you are facing a difficult conversation right now, think about how you can:
- Explore rather than ignore the emotions (both yours and others involved)
- Evaluate the beliefs and assumptions you might be making in the situation
- Get clear on the outcome you want from the conversation
- Practice the skills to navigate a difficult conversation by rehearsing or role playing
- Reflect on the experience to gain new insight and awareness to help you prepare for your next conversation
When difficult conversations are handled well they can facilitate growth in the other person, create a deeper understanding of the situation, or motivate others toward change.
Interested in learning more? Call us about our 4-session introductory coaching package designed to help you initiate a difficult conversation.