Dealing With Difficult Conversations

Upon completion of the NewsU course Dealing with Difficult Conversations, I learned how to better approach and how to better deal with conversations when they become difficult or crucial.  When dealing with a difficult topic, it is important to have a clear sense of just how critical the conversation is; this allows you to gauge how you ought to approach and continue with the conversation. It is important not to beat around the bush and avoid the real issue at hand. When a big issue is avoided, it is either never resolved and turns into something much larger than it should be, or it causes bitterness and resentment to grow in the hearts of the people involved with the conflict. Neither of these options is advisable for anyone, especially in a working environment.

What surprised me was that when I took the quiz to see which trait I had in regards to how I deal with difficult conversations, I got the accommodation quality. This style is when a person seeks to maintain a positive relationship by accommodating them in this difficult time. It’s not a bad style to have as it is the role of a peacemaker, but it is very important that an accommodator not let people walk over them or take advantage of them. I didn’t realize this was my style approach, but knowing now that it is, I am better equipped to recognize how I should handle crucial conversations.

I would like to know more about approaching a conversation that is uncomfortable for both parties involved. Not necessarily one person approaching another about something gone wrong but how best to approach a situation where what one person has to say is just as uncomfortable as how the other person will feel. For example, how does a supervisor tell an employee that other employees are complaining about having to work with her because of body odor issues?  How does one approach this in a way that doesn’t offend the worker, but also in a way that represents the company well?  What would you do if the employee took the suggestion badly?

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