EdApp by SafetyCulture

Managing Difficult Conversations

By EdApp
6 Lessons
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About this course

Whether you're managing a remote team online or a group of employees in an in-office environment, difficult conversations may occur between colleagues or the people that you lead from time to time. This course covers the importance of having difficult conversations with your team, and how everyone including leaders can handle these kinds of conversations -- we also included some tips on how to give negative feedback effectively, and how to deliver an authentic apology to your clients.

Managing Difficult Conversations Lessons

Click through the microlessons below to preview this course. Each lesson is designed to deliver engaging and effective learning to your team in only minutes.

  1. The Importance Of Difficult Conversations
  2. Common Mistakes People Do When Having Difficult Conversations
  3. How to Handle Difficult Conversations as a Leader
  4. Approaching Difficult Conversations Remotely
  5. Giving Negative Feedback Effectively
  6. Delivering an Authentic Apology to Your Clients

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Managing Difficult Conversations course excerpts

The Importance Of Difficult Conversations

Managing Difficult Conversations Course - Lesson Excerpt

The Importance Of Difficult Conversations

Sometimes, your employee's failures are also their greatest lessons. And as a leader, it is important to carve out a space in the workplace to have difficult conversations about their performance, or other issues in order for everyone in your team to feel like they belong.

It may not be easy, but it is important for people to have difficult conversations in order to grow. Every team must have an avenue for each member to put difficult discussions in order to move on as it's not productive to simply dump emotions without giving people a plan to create change moving forward.

In this lesson, we'll cover the benefits and importance of having difficult discussions with your team members to help you build a space for tough conversations whether you're running a team in an office setup or a team of remote workers collaborating online. **Press continue to begin. **

What "V" does a difficult conversation communicate to a person you lead?

Common Mistakes People Do When Having Difficult Conversations

Managing Difficult Conversations Course - Lesson Excerpt

Common Mistakes People Do When Having Difficult Conversations

Difficult conversations can take many forms. It could be a discussion between colleagues of equal level who disagree about a project's process and could also be between a boss and an employee over a performance concern.

The subject matter may always change; however, the stakes remain the same and being ill-prepared for these conversations may affect your reputation and role in your organization.

When the communication during a difficult conversation goes off course, it may impact goals and targets negatively, prompt high turnover, and result in low employee engagement.

Overestimating your abilities to manage the conversation

This is the exact opposite problem. Most people are afraid to raise difficult subjects, the others overestimate their ability to manage difficult discussions.

There are two common reasons why and how this emerges: • People often confuse their job competence and subject matter expertise with the ability to communicate, collaborate, and listen. • People also tend to overestimate their level of emotional intelligence.

Try some emotional regulation practices in order to avoid doing this common mistake.

Emotional regulation practices are habits that may help you avoid the pitfalls of overestimating your ability to manage emotionally charged situations.

Here are some emotional regulation practices you can try: • Taking an intentional pause before responding when your emotions run high, focusing on your breathing instead. • Deflection by asking questions to the other person instead of answering too quickly.

Being ill-prepared This is a common habit of exceptionally busy people. Even the most emotionally intelligent person on the planet cannot expect to walk into several meetings, one after another, and hope to accomplish alignment on sensitive issues. Without adequate preparation, successful alignment is not only unlikely but can also be impossible in some cases. To avoid falling into this trap, take some time before you sit down with them to think through the situation from both your own perspective and theirs. Some details you may want to consider are: • The time of the conversation • The location where the conversation will be held • Other small specifics such as noise level, privacy, and even temperature.

How to Handle Difficult Conversations as a Leader

Managing Difficult Conversations Course - Lesson Excerpt

How to Handle Difficult Conversations as a Leader

Leaders are always called upon to engage in challenging and difficult conversations. That's alright -- leadership is about creating the conditions for other people, or an organization to manifest change, and being able to engage and support others with this challenge is a part of the scope.

Start off by acknowledging that you may get the issue wrong. Whether you are uncomfortable or unsure of the outcome of the conversation, start off by acknowledging that you may get the conversation's topic wrong. Many leaders get to positions of authority and responsibility by being really good at getting things right. For example: • We sell or manage teams well or know the history of something, and; • We can lead an organization that needs these skill set. We’re used to getting things correctly, and once we’re in senior roles, we are at even greater risk for confirmation bias. That is, the tendency to spot data that reaffirms our existing points of view. In a difficult conversation, we may not get things right but that's okay. As leaders, we have to be prepared to acknowledge and apologize for our mistakes when others call out that we’ve gotten it wrong.

What are the three Cs of inclusive leadership? Select all that applies

Approaching Difficult Conversations Remotely

Managing Difficult Conversations Course - Lesson Excerpt

Approaching Difficult Conversations Remotely

Whether we like it or not, things are always going to come up that you'll have to deal with as a leader from time to time.

You may even be an employee who is having to bring up an issue yourself to a superior. Team conflicts, project roadblocks, and other sensitive conversations will unfortunately happen, and being remote doesn’t help to make them any easier at all.

In fact, difficult conversations are hard enough when in an office setup where you can notice more visual cues, let alone tackling them from a virtual one.

Despite the approach is different when working remotely, it doesn't have to be harder if you have the right skills to navigate through them.

Prepare for a successful conversation Preparing for the conversation is just as important as having the conversation itself. Think of a good time for you and the other person so you can organize a meeting and create an agenda that the conversation can stick to. Being in the right frame andd mindset to a difficult conversation is important so being well-rested before the conversation helps. **Remember that it’s not just you that needs to prepare for this - try giving the other person some time as well. ** It’s can be as simple as sending off an email or dropping someone a message in Slack to make sure they’re notified with enough time. **Think about providing some well-written context into what you want to discuss so the other person won't have to face an unpleasant surprise. **

Create a true dialogue.

Ask questions. By asking questions, you can have a more meaningful conversation during your meeting.

Refocus the conversation. Like any kind of conversation, it's easy to get off topic and some participants become more reserved too as the conversation goes on.

Use I & impact statements. Use them to share your perspective as sometimes, voicing our opinions precisely can be a struggle when we're really into a conversation.

Giving Negative Feedback Effectively

Managing Difficult Conversations Course - Lesson Excerpt

Giving Negative Feedback Effectively

Feedback can be one of a the many things that can be considered as a leader's best tool however, it is only effective when delivered properly.

Positive feedback is typically straightforward and easy to provide, but negative feedback can be more complicated and a bit tough to deliver. And when a feedback is not delivered properly, employees aren’t receptive to it.

When done right, employees become appreciative of the feedback given to them. This is because they understand that the criticism was meant to help them get better, that's why it is vital to provide negative feedback in a constructive way.

In this lesson, we will cover some of the best practices when providing negative feedback to your employees that you can use in an in-office setup, or even when working remotely. Ready? Tap the button below to begin.

Avoid the feedback sandwich. Couching criticism with positive feedback has the tendency to dilute the message and make the feedback sound insincere. Approach the issue directly and with transparency. This allows everyone to understand the purpose of the discussion and keep the conversation on the right track. For example, if a colleague’s presentation style needs improvement, you can approach the conversation by asking if you can provide some feedback. They will (most likely) say yes, and accepting it will be easier for them.

Providing negative feedback to your team members should never be...

Delivering an Authentic Apology to Your Clients

Managing Difficult Conversations Course - Lesson Excerpt

Delivering an Authentic Apology to Your Clients

A time may come in your career where you make a huge mistake. This could be dropping the ball on a client project, blank on something important, or hand in work missing essential parts.

Client communication can be tricky. Most of the time, there’s no method to completely eradicate miscommunication or mistakes.

We aim for excellent work and productivity as well as close relationships with our clients, but problems will always arise so it’s wise to learn a special skill as early as you can: Saying "I'm sorry".

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Managing Difficult Conversations


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