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Navigating Difficult Conversations:
Deliver Your Message with Poise,
Empathy and Resolve
Presented by:
Gary Turner
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Part of HRDQ’s Reproducible Training Library, with more than 300 hours
of courseware.
With the Reproducible Training Library, you can:
•Customize programs as much or as little as you’d like
•Reproduce the materials as often as you need
•Download the files for immediate use
•Courses include an Instructor-Led Classroom Training Program and a
Supplemental Self-Study PowerPoint.
•Purchase just once, and use without limits. Unlimited site license
included.
Stay tuned for a special offer on the Navigating Difficult Conversations
after the conclusion of the webinar!
Sponsored by
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Course Objectives
This course will increase your ability to:
•Understand the nature of difficult conversations and
what it takes to handle them.
•Identify the seven stages of handling difficult
conversations.
•Use empathy in a way that minimizes negative
responses and strengthens relationships.
•Apply best practices for preparing, initiating, and
delivering the conversation.
•Discover how to generate solutions and bring the
conversation to a close.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Some Conversations are
Difficult!
Chat-in!
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Conversations You May Find Difficult
• Delivering bad news
• Giving negative performance feedback; asking
employees to make changes
• Saying “no”
• Asking people to do an unpleasant
or difficult task
• Acknowledging your mistakes
• Dealing with personal things
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Chat-in!
Why do you think
these conversations
are difficult?
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Why These Conversations are Difficult
• Fear of causing hurt feelings, not being liked,
or not being respected
• Feeling of powerlessness
• Fear of embarrassing yourself or being seen to
fall short in responsibilities
• Reluctance to engage in conflict
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Stages of a Difficult Conversation
Stage 5: Explore alternatives and
solutions, if appropriate
Stage 6: Close the Conversation
Stage 7: Follow up, if appropriate
Stage 1: Prepare for the Conversation
Stage 2: Initiate the Conversation
Stage 3: Deliver the Message
Stage 4: Listen and Respond
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Stage 1:
Preparing for a Difficult
Conversation
Navigating Difficult Conversations
To Prepare for Difficult Conversations
• Prepare yourself.
• Know what you want to achieve.
• Choose the right time and place.
• Arrange to deliver the message promptly and
clearly.
• Focus on the facts so you tell the truth.
• Try to see the situation from the other
person’s perspective.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Why Prepare?
• Feel less stress and tension
• Get message across clearly and tactfully
• Cope with emotions
• Be ready for possible responses
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Scenario to Prepare for…
Lucinda needs to tell Michele that the project she just com-
pleted is not acceptable—in fact, a significant part needs to
be completely redone. Lucinda is not looking forward to
this conversation. She knows that Michele worked very
hard and believed she had done an excellent job. There
have also been other times when Michele has grown very
angry in the face of bad news. With this in mind, Lucinda
knows it is unlikely that Michele will readily agree to redo
the project.
What could Lucinda do to prepare for this conversation so
that it goes as well as possible? Chat-in!
Navigating Difficult Conversations
How to Prepare
What’s the situation? What are your feelings? How
will you manage your
emotions?
What are the stakes? What’s your relationship with
the other person?
What are the facts? What are
your assumptions?
What are your objectives?
What’s the ideal outcome?
What are the other person’s
perspectives, feelings, and
assumptions?
When and where will the
conversation be held?
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Stage 2:
Getting the Conversation
Started
Chat-in!
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Getting Started
• Let the person know you want to talk and
arrange a convenient time.
• Set the stage–sit at a
corner or next to one
another.
• Introduce the subject and
get to the point quickly.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Conversation Openers
• “You've probably heard that we lost a big
contract....”
• “I'd like to talk about your performance
evaluation...”
• “I need a favor from you….”
• “There’s something important that I would
like to discuss ….”
• “I have some bad news….”
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Stage 3:
Delivering the Message
Navigating Difficult Conversations
To Deliver Difficult Messages (Content)
• Be clear, specific; focus on facts.
• Give examples.
• Be sincere; provide accurate information.
• Ask questions for more information
• Let the other person ask questions, answer
them honestly, and say why if you can’t
answer them.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
To Deliver Difficult Messages (Process)
• Stay calm and use positive body language:
– Sit up straight.
– Don’t cross your arms.
– Make eye contact.
– Keep a neutral expression.
– Sit still.
• Avoid distractions.
• Take responsibility when warranted.
• Reframe the situation in a positive light.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Stage 4:
Listen and Respond
Navigating Difficult Conversations
To Listen and Respond (Rule One)
Stay Focused:
•Clear your mind.
•Make eye contact.
•Focus on one idea.
•Ignore distractions.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
To Listen and Respond (Rule Two)
Capture the Message:
•Be aware of speaker’s tone and body language.
•Be open-minded.
•Avoid making assumptions.
•Seek understanding of the person’s thoughts
and feelings.
•Avoid telling the person what to do.
•Extract the main ideas.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
To Listen and Respond (Rule Three)
Help the Speaker:
•Avoid distracting nonverbal actions.
•Encourage the speaker.
•Intercede with helpful comments so the
speaker can recall his or her train of thought.
•Keep facial expressions open.
•Maintain an alert posture.
•Avoid interrupting.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Stage 5
Exploring Alternatives
Navigating Difficult Conversations
To Handle Difficult Suggestions
• Listen actively, empathize, and acknowledge,
respect, and validate the other person's
feelings.
• Don’t take reactions personally.
• Stay calm.
• Keep an open mind and negotiate (when
appropriate).
Navigating Difficult Conversations
To Cope With Difficult Emotions
• Anger: Allow the person to “vent”; end the
conversation immediately if the person
becomes violent.
• Tears: Wait while the person gets his or her
feelings under control, and acknowledge
these feelings; suggest a break if necessary.
• Frustration: Acknowledge and empathize with
their feelings; show you want to help.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
To Explore Alternatives and Solutions
• Identify what’s important to you and what is
non-negotiable.
• Have a collaborative attitude and seek a
mutually satisfactory resolution.
• Work with the person to generate possible
alternatives and solutions; keep an open mind
and consider all ideas.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Stage 6
Close the Conversation
Chat-in!
Navigating Difficult Conversations
To Cope with Non-commitment
• Resistance: Empathize, focus on facts, and
offer evidence.
• Passivity: Ask questions to draw out their
thoughts.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
To Close a Difficult Conversation
• Avoid letting the conversation drag out.
• Be alert for signs of a natural ending.
• Clarify next steps.
• Look for ways to end on a positive note.
• Offer the person a chance to add anything
that may have been missed.
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Stage 7
Follow up
Navigating Difficult Conversations
Tips for Following Up
• Keep a journal. When you have a difficult
conversation, note what went well and what you
might do differently.
• When possible, talk to the other person involved in
the conversation. Ask how it went for them and what
you might have done differently to make it go better.
• Find out what others do. Share experiences in
navigating a difficult conversation with colleagues and
be open to hearing what they do and their
suggestions for your improvement.
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Introduce participants to a seven-stage process
for taking control in difficult conversations.
Realistic examples and role-playing activities
help participants as they prepare, carry-out, and
close difficult conversations in the most
productive manner.

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Navigating Difficult Conversations: Deliver Your Message with Poise, Empathy and Resolve

  • 1. Navigating Difficult Conversations: Deliver Your Message with Poise, Empathy and Resolve
  • 3. Navigating Difficult Conversations Part of HRDQ’s Reproducible Training Library, with more than 300 hours of courseware. With the Reproducible Training Library, you can: •Customize programs as much or as little as you’d like •Reproduce the materials as often as you need •Download the files for immediate use •Courses include an Instructor-Led Classroom Training Program and a Supplemental Self-Study PowerPoint. •Purchase just once, and use without limits. Unlimited site license included. Stay tuned for a special offer on the Navigating Difficult Conversations after the conclusion of the webinar! Sponsored by
  • 4. Navigating Difficult Conversations Course Objectives This course will increase your ability to: •Understand the nature of difficult conversations and what it takes to handle them. •Identify the seven stages of handling difficult conversations. •Use empathy in a way that minimizes negative responses and strengthens relationships. •Apply best practices for preparing, initiating, and delivering the conversation. •Discover how to generate solutions and bring the conversation to a close.
  • 5. Navigating Difficult Conversations Some Conversations are Difficult! Chat-in!
  • 6. Navigating Difficult Conversations Conversations You May Find Difficult • Delivering bad news • Giving negative performance feedback; asking employees to make changes • Saying “no” • Asking people to do an unpleasant or difficult task • Acknowledging your mistakes • Dealing with personal things
  • 7. Navigating Difficult Conversations Chat-in! Why do you think these conversations are difficult?
  • 8. Navigating Difficult Conversations Why These Conversations are Difficult • Fear of causing hurt feelings, not being liked, or not being respected • Feeling of powerlessness • Fear of embarrassing yourself or being seen to fall short in responsibilities • Reluctance to engage in conflict
  • 9. Navigating Difficult Conversations Stages of a Difficult Conversation Stage 5: Explore alternatives and solutions, if appropriate Stage 6: Close the Conversation Stage 7: Follow up, if appropriate Stage 1: Prepare for the Conversation Stage 2: Initiate the Conversation Stage 3: Deliver the Message Stage 4: Listen and Respond
  • 10. Navigating Difficult Conversations Stage 1: Preparing for a Difficult Conversation
  • 11. Navigating Difficult Conversations To Prepare for Difficult Conversations • Prepare yourself. • Know what you want to achieve. • Choose the right time and place. • Arrange to deliver the message promptly and clearly. • Focus on the facts so you tell the truth. • Try to see the situation from the other person’s perspective.
  • 12. Navigating Difficult Conversations Why Prepare? • Feel less stress and tension • Get message across clearly and tactfully • Cope with emotions • Be ready for possible responses
  • 13. Navigating Difficult Conversations Scenario to Prepare for… Lucinda needs to tell Michele that the project she just com- pleted is not acceptable—in fact, a significant part needs to be completely redone. Lucinda is not looking forward to this conversation. She knows that Michele worked very hard and believed she had done an excellent job. There have also been other times when Michele has grown very angry in the face of bad news. With this in mind, Lucinda knows it is unlikely that Michele will readily agree to redo the project. What could Lucinda do to prepare for this conversation so that it goes as well as possible? Chat-in!
  • 14. Navigating Difficult Conversations How to Prepare What’s the situation? What are your feelings? How will you manage your emotions? What are the stakes? What’s your relationship with the other person? What are the facts? What are your assumptions? What are your objectives? What’s the ideal outcome? What are the other person’s perspectives, feelings, and assumptions? When and where will the conversation be held?
  • 15. Navigating Difficult Conversations Stage 2: Getting the Conversation Started Chat-in!
  • 16. Navigating Difficult Conversations Getting Started • Let the person know you want to talk and arrange a convenient time. • Set the stage–sit at a corner or next to one another. • Introduce the subject and get to the point quickly.
  • 17. Navigating Difficult Conversations Conversation Openers • “You've probably heard that we lost a big contract....” • “I'd like to talk about your performance evaluation...” • “I need a favor from you….” • “There’s something important that I would like to discuss ….” • “I have some bad news….”
  • 18. Navigating Difficult Conversations Stage 3: Delivering the Message
  • 19. Navigating Difficult Conversations To Deliver Difficult Messages (Content) • Be clear, specific; focus on facts. • Give examples. • Be sincere; provide accurate information. • Ask questions for more information • Let the other person ask questions, answer them honestly, and say why if you can’t answer them.
  • 20. Navigating Difficult Conversations To Deliver Difficult Messages (Process) • Stay calm and use positive body language: – Sit up straight. – Don’t cross your arms. – Make eye contact. – Keep a neutral expression. – Sit still. • Avoid distractions. • Take responsibility when warranted. • Reframe the situation in a positive light.
  • 22. Navigating Difficult Conversations To Listen and Respond (Rule One) Stay Focused: •Clear your mind. •Make eye contact. •Focus on one idea. •Ignore distractions.
  • 23. Navigating Difficult Conversations To Listen and Respond (Rule Two) Capture the Message: •Be aware of speaker’s tone and body language. •Be open-minded. •Avoid making assumptions. •Seek understanding of the person’s thoughts and feelings. •Avoid telling the person what to do. •Extract the main ideas.
  • 24. Navigating Difficult Conversations To Listen and Respond (Rule Three) Help the Speaker: •Avoid distracting nonverbal actions. •Encourage the speaker. •Intercede with helpful comments so the speaker can recall his or her train of thought. •Keep facial expressions open. •Maintain an alert posture. •Avoid interrupting.
  • 25. Navigating Difficult Conversations Stage 5 Exploring Alternatives
  • 26. Navigating Difficult Conversations To Handle Difficult Suggestions • Listen actively, empathize, and acknowledge, respect, and validate the other person's feelings. • Don’t take reactions personally. • Stay calm. • Keep an open mind and negotiate (when appropriate).
  • 27. Navigating Difficult Conversations To Cope With Difficult Emotions • Anger: Allow the person to “vent”; end the conversation immediately if the person becomes violent. • Tears: Wait while the person gets his or her feelings under control, and acknowledge these feelings; suggest a break if necessary. • Frustration: Acknowledge and empathize with their feelings; show you want to help.
  • 28. Navigating Difficult Conversations To Explore Alternatives and Solutions • Identify what’s important to you and what is non-negotiable. • Have a collaborative attitude and seek a mutually satisfactory resolution. • Work with the person to generate possible alternatives and solutions; keep an open mind and consider all ideas.
  • 29. Navigating Difficult Conversations Stage 6 Close the Conversation Chat-in!
  • 30. Navigating Difficult Conversations To Cope with Non-commitment • Resistance: Empathize, focus on facts, and offer evidence. • Passivity: Ask questions to draw out their thoughts.
  • 31. Navigating Difficult Conversations To Close a Difficult Conversation • Avoid letting the conversation drag out. • Be alert for signs of a natural ending. • Clarify next steps. • Look for ways to end on a positive note. • Offer the person a chance to add anything that may have been missed.
  • 33. Navigating Difficult Conversations Tips for Following Up • Keep a journal. When you have a difficult conversation, note what went well and what you might do differently. • When possible, talk to the other person involved in the conversation. Ask how it went for them and what you might have done differently to make it go better. • Find out what others do. Share experiences in navigating a difficult conversation with colleagues and be open to hearing what they do and their suggestions for your improvement.
  • 34. SPECIAL ATTENDEE OFFER! COUPON CODE: RTL15off hrdqstore.com | Enter code at checkout | one time use only 15% off! 15% Off Navigating Difficult Conversations Introduce participants to a seven-stage process for taking control in difficult conversations. Realistic examples and role-playing activities help participants as they prepare, carry-out, and close difficult conversations in the most productive manner.