There’s More to Conversation Than Words

Difficult Conversation:  Anything you dread talking about, that keeps you up at night in anticipation, and that you have no confidence is going to go well.

 A difficult conversation is three conversations at once:

 1.  The substance of what happened.  The “substance” conversation looks at who did what and how we got here.  It may have been over a period of time or something had happened during a recent incident.  The longer we wait to deal with an issue, the greater the chasm can become between parties and the more a working relationship or project be compromised.  Once the situation is clear, you will want to dig in and resolve the issue. 

 2.   Feelings.  People are told to check their feelings at the door.  Although they may try to check them at the door, they leak out in one way or another.   Please consider:

  • Tone of voice, actions (like avoiding working with certain people), talking  behind their backs.
  • Feelings will be involved.  The question is:  How are you going to deal with them at work?
  • Telling someone their actions are selfish is a “judgment.”
  • Telling someone you felt hurt by their actions is a “feeling.”  When giving someone a warning that this is the last time they can be late without losing their job, deal with the facts, how it affects the rest of the department, and the “behavior” is not acceptable.  Be sure to know if it is just because they have a bad habit of being tardy or if there is a deeper, underlying area (caring for a sick family member, serious problem at home, etc.)  That may require working out a mutually-agreeable schedule that works for both of you.

  3.  Identify the conversation.  Any time you’re having trouble with a conversation, it probably involves some aspect of your own self-identification.  It is always a good idea to assess every aspect, including how it makes you feel about yourself (in control–or not, confident, hurt, anger at an idea being rejected, etc).

Stay tuned in our next blog for Part 3: Initiating the Conversation That Resolves the Issues.

For more information on a seminars or personal coaching, contact Rita Rocker, Communications and Image Specialist, Transformation Academy, 402-968-3250 402-968-3250      rita@transformationacademy.com, www.transformationacademy

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