How leaders should handle difficult conversations

Difficult Conversations at Work

Difficult conversations are part of our professional life.

They can’t be avoided, and conflict is part of life. Conflict should not always be perceived as negative. It can be looked at as healthy and unhealthy. Healthy, productive conflict can lead to new ideas and solutions. Unhealthy conflict can lead to the destruction of relationships, and a continuous downward emotionally charged spiral that has negative impacts on productivity and engagement, which impact business performance.

Many times, the way we prefer to be communicated to and process information triggers the emotions which generate unhealthy conflict.

The references below help us understand the importance of thinking and communicating styles in a team environment and how they can be leveraged properly, especially during difficult conversations. These references are all part of the Neethling Brain Inventory (NBI) Assessment available through Bridge 3.

When we find ourselves in conflict, we should remember that both parties have needs in that moment. Recognizing that, and not just thinking of ourselves can keep challenging conversations productive and healthy.
As I wrote in this Forbes article:
“During difficult conversations, people have core concerns, such as the need to feel valued, to belong and be understood. While facilitating the difficult discussion, find value in what the other person is saying and acknowledge it. If dealing with a challenge, including the person in the solution by focusing on shared problem solving and teamwork can increase their sense of belonging.”

Keeping conflict healthy, and managing the many difficult conversations we have on a daily or weekly basic in a positive way, is an approach to fully leveraging our talents and of those around us.

Always Ready!

Jonathan

The Forbes Coaches Council is a group of top business and career coaches who offer firsthand insights on leadership development & careers.

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