It is pretty nerve-wracking!!

Planning, Preparation and Patience are key

Difficult conversations or conversations that are difficult, require thought, care and attention.

This was a topic on a recent webinar delivered by Tracy-Anne.

In 1999 Douglas Stone published a book on this subject and a phrase we like is:

Difficult conversations are almost, never about getting the facts right. They are about conflicting perceptions, interpretations and values“.

When we think about this in a personal and business context this resonates a lot. We become so caught up in how we or the other person perceives the situation, how they view things or the opinions that we have, we forget about the actual facts. Most of us wouldn’t argue with facts, we might not like them, but they are what they are facts.

Extracting the facts, seeking agreed solutions and being able to move on is essential, otherwise we end up on a roundabout, never solving the problem. It continually occurs and mis-trust and upset ensues.

Let’s start with communication when we think about work, when we think about being a manager, may be at work we are a supervisor or a team leader, getting our communication skills at the level it needs to be is vital.  Developing our skills as early as we possibly can is fundamental. It’s what Tracy-Anne likes to call the foundation. It’s the bit that holds up everything else that we do from a work context as a manager. If we’re not able to communicate clearly and concisely everything else that we do can become quite tricky and a problem. So if you’re needing to have a difficult conversation and your communication skills are not where they need to be that without a doubt, it is going to cause us some problems.

What about the underlying causes of Difficult conversations, there are many here, are a few to share with you:

  • Perceptions
  • Values
  • Cultural factors
  • Emotions
  • Reality
  • The stories we tell ourselves
  • Power imbalance
  • Personality
  • Self doubt
  • Lack of confidence

There are a number of strategies that we discussed on the webinar, among them are, as Tracy-Anne likes to call them the Three P’s:

  • Planning
  • Preparation
  • Patience

We recorded the webinar, if you are interested in finding out a little more on this topic, get in touch with Tracy-Anne or you can access the webinar free here

Author: Tracy-Anne Barker

If you want to read more leadership and management ideas just like this, Tracy-Anne’s new book will be out soon. She shares her experience and practical solutions to help managers step up and manage a team in today’s modern management world.

About TA Barker Associates  – Tracy-Anne is the  Founder and CEO;  a training and coaching business specialising in working with Business Owners, Managers, and HR Professionals so they can equip their managers and teams with the right skills to maximise their performance and have a high performing business that is sustainable.

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