Handling difficult conversations is amongst the most frequent challenges that are encountered at work but often overlooked. But you will have to face this challenge at some point in your career, regardless of your position, job role or industry. Whether you’re the one to initiate an awkward conversation or you are suddenly ambushed by one, you can’t help but feel uneasy about it. Most of you tend to shut down, withdraw or even feel lost for words, rendering you embarrassed and possibly stopping you from conveying your thoughts in a coherent manner. Unfortunately, such situations are unavoidable at work, but that doesn’t mean that the discomfort associated with it cannot be prevented or dealt with in a smart way. Here are a few pieces of advice from Akhtaboot on how to handle difficult work conversations, so you can turn things to your favor.
- Take a Neutral Stance and Speak with Reason
This applies to all circumstances. When dealing with a tough discussion, you shouldn’t appear defensive or biased as this will intimidate the other person and will cause conflict to arise between you two. Remain neutral and solidify your argument with logic to avoid any personal clashes.
- Put on a Smile
Smiling will not only make others feel confident about you, but it will also allow you to construct a positive relationship with them and will help you get over any differences you may have with them. Maintaining a positive attitude will help you steer the conversation in a friendly direction, and possibly transform it into a productive discussion. To put it simply, a smile can take you a long way.
- Sustain your Focus and Don’t Allow the Discussion to Go Off-Track
Many people attempt to derail the course of a conversation to feed their personal gains or to distract you from your intended purpose. Do not allow that to happen. Stay focused on your objectives and remain focused on the topic at hand. Make sure that you are also receptive to other person’s concerns.
- Listen and Be Willing to Negotiate
Listening to what others have to say is essential to resolving any disputes at work and will help strengthen your relationship with your colleagues. It also helps you find the common ground serving both of your interests. Furthermore, if there’s no room for negotiation, it may be near impossible for you to satisfy your objectives. Never underestimate the power of being a good listener.
- Don’t Let your Emotions Take Over You
No matter how disturbed or overwhelmed you may feel, you must subdue any negative emotions and maintain your composure. Be optimistic and maintain a positive mindset. Stay calm, work towards the most favorable outcome, and be open to compromise. Even if the conversation isn’t going as you hoped it would, do not allow that to discourage you and keep up the high morale.
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