How to succeed in Difficult Conversations

15 Oct 2016

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How to succeed in Difficult Conversations

  1. How to succeed in difficult conversations
  2. Objective The objective of this module is to • Identify difficult interpersonal situations • Learn how to initiate and close conversations in difficult situations • Minimize destructive conversations • Develop precise questions to conduct a skillful conversation. • Engage in open and productive conversations
  3. Introduction • Are you feeling overworked or under appreciated? • Does your boss seem to be asking too much of you, seemingly oblivious to the amount of work you already have on your plate? • Do you have a colleague continually undermining you? • Do you have feedback you’d like to give but are afraid to cause offence? • Have you ever wished you had the courage to speak up and engage in a difficult conversation at work? • Are you afraid of giving tough feedback to a subordinate ? • Is challenging your boss on a highly controversial topic difficult? • Can you approach your boss's boss when you feel you are stuck?
  4. Courageous Conversations – What, Why and How ?
  5. What is courageous conversation? • Courageous conversation simply put is a constructive and open discussion between two or more people on difficult topics and issues where stakes and emotions run high • Courageous conversations are held • When ideas are met with continuous resistance • When there is a lack of follow- through on commitments • When uncomfortable situations aren’t being addressed • When problems remain unresolved
  6. What stops us? • Not knowing how to begin a conversation • Uncertainty of the outcome • Fear of overly emotional reaction • Stakes are high • Feel uncomfortable and difficult • Not confident of handling others emotions • Fear of damaging the relationship • Fear of punishment
  7. Need for courageous conversation • How severe is the situation that I am looking to address? • What are my possible risks? • What are my possible gains? • Who is my recipient? • What is their personality like? • How are they likely to respond?
  8. Reaction to courageous conversations Attack • Someone starts to respond aggressively or wants to control the discussion • We feel we have lost control or we are not being heard • We want others to share to view Retreat • Somebody withdraws or avoids conversation • Connections are lost and there is communication barrier • We don’t feel comfortable • We want to avoid conflict • We want to protect ourselves
  9. 3 types of courageous conversations Nice •What is wrong here? Can’t we just get along? •It’s really not that big a deal. I should let it go. There is no need to create a big fuss. •I was hoping that it would not come to this, but I guess should speak before it gets too late Courageous •Can I be totally honest with you? •Thanks for sharing your perspective. May I share mine with you now? •Let me start by telling you where I’m coming from and then I want you to hear from you •I know it is going to hurt, but I don’t know how else to tell you this and it is something you must know Fierce •Okay, I am going to be very honest with you now. Be prepared to hear the truth •I have told you the truth. If you can’t handle it , that’s your problem
  10. Benefits of having courageous conversation You • Success at work and personal life • Better relationships • Reduced stress • Skill to tackle conflicts and difficult behaviour Organization • Open and honest culture • Reduced turnover • Increased work satisfaction • Easy to address important issues
  11. Cost of Avoidance What is cost of avoiding it ? • Low team / personal spirit • Time is lost • Increased conflict • High stress level • Missed opportunities
  12. Process for Courageous Conversation
  13. Process There is a process to having a courageous conversation and following it ensures Positive impact and desired result: • Prepare • Listen & Tell • Manage Reactions • Close
  14. Prepare What outcome do you want from the conversation? • For yourself • For your partner • For the relationship When having a courageous conversation , know: • When to start • What to share • How to close
  15. How do I begin the conversation? Here are a few conversation openers: • I have something I’d like to discuss with you that I think will help us work together more effectively. • I’d like to talk about ____________ with you, but first I’d like to get your point of view. • I need your help with what just happened. Do you have a few minutes to talk? • I need your help with something. Can we talk about it (soon)? If the person says, “Sure, let me get back to you,” follow up with him.
  16. How do I begin the conversation? Here are a few conversation openers: • I think we have different perceptions about _____________________. I’d like to hear your thinking on this. • I’d like to talk about _______________. I think we may have different ideas about how to ___________________. • I’d like to see if we might reach a better understanding about ___________. I really want to hear your feelings about this and share my perspective as well.
  17. Listen and Tell Listen Tell Summarize
  18. Manage Reactions Make positive interpretations • Do not assume, ask • Make positive inferences Remain authentic • State the fact • Be truthful Be humble • Do not dominate • Stay calm and humble
  19. Close Prepare Listen & Tell Manage Reactions Close
  20. Process • Get to the point • State facts • Why now • State how you feel about it? • What is the impact on you/others Tell your story • Make positive interpretations • Remain authentic • Be humble Manage reactions • Listen patiently • Do not judge or react • Empathize Listen to their story • Summarize • Close positively • Emphasize the outcome Close
  21. Tips to having Courageous Conversations
  22. 5 rules to communicating effectively 1. Ensure accuracy and is backed up with facts 2. Collect all necessary information 3. Avoid repetition and adjectives when you speak 4. Rehearse conversation before the actual one 5. Be prepared and stay calm while receiving feedback and giving feedback
  23. 10 ways to have Courageous conversations 1. Check your ego, set your Intention right 2. Mean what you say 3. Set the emotional tone 4. Be vigilant of victims and villains 5. Facts First 6. Discuss the “Difficult” 7. Don’t stoop 8. Counter defensiveness with humility 9. Be clear in requests and commitments 10. Stay future focused
  24. 10 ways to have Courageous conversations 1. Check your ego, set your Intention right • Be clear on your objective • Think through the conversation • Rehearse what you want say • Be truthful • Be empathetic
  25. 10 ways to have Courageous conversations 2. Mean what you say • Have a sincere discussion • Give your honest opinion • Believe in what you say • Don’t be flattery • Respect others opinion • Choose the right words • Mean what you say
  26. 10 ways to have Courageous conversations 3. Set the emotional tone • Rehearse what you what to say • Stay calm • Write down points you want to cover • Manage your emotions before handling others • If emotions run high, call off the conversation
  27. 10 ways to have Courageous conversations 4. Be vigilant of victims and villains • Listen to others view point • Build trust • Watch out for negative reactions and handle them
  28. 10 ways to have Courageous conversations 5. Facts First • Get your facts right • Do not assume • Listen to others opinion • Use language that keeps discussion open
  29. 10 ways to have Courageous conversations 6. Discuss the “Difficult” • Talk what is important • Do not beat around the bush • Do not avoid difficult conversations • Do not keep your thoughts to yourself • Speaking out helps reduce stress
  30. 10 ways to have Courageous conversations 7. Don’t stoop • Do not get angry at others • Do not behave the way others do • Be positive and stay calm • Take control of your emotions • When people behave wrong, do not reciprocate
  31. 10 ways to have Courageous conversations 8. Counter defensiveness with humility • Address the problem and not the person • Offer help to find a solution to the problem • Be truly concerned • Appreciate their awkwardness
  32. 10 ways to have Courageous conversations 9. Be clear in requests and commitments • Have clarity about the outcome you want • Let others know what you want • Make clear requests with specific actions • Keep your commitments • In case of non consensus, keep dialogue open • Schedule another meeting to discuss and close
  33. 10 ways to have Courageous conversations 10. Stay future focused • Easy to blame and criticize others • Difficult to be disciplined • Focus on change required and not on the problem • Practice before you preach
  34. For a free online course on this subject – enroll to our Course : COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS At
  35. Summary • Understand, appreciate and overcome gaps/challenges to communicating effectively. • Have a greater ability and courage to engage in difficult conversations. • Manage yourself and your communication more effectively • Have greater self -awareness • Have more tools and techniques to have conversations • Have an improved ability to give and receive feedback.

Notes de l'éditeur

  1. Courageous conversations will help you learn how to tackle the challenges of conflict and difficult behaviour in the workplace, reducing their stress levels and creating a more positive working environment. While in organizations it will help your team to avoid and overcome these situations, resulting in a healthier, happier and more productive working environment and reduced turnover.
  2. Using a structured process, helps achieve clear agreements on behaviour changes and improved relationships. Developing the ability to effectively communicate in these challenging situations leads to greater satisfaction in relationships, team culture, performance, and results.
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  4. Let us learn ,Tips to having Courageous Conversations.
  5. Five golden rules to make sure that your message comes across, and in the clearest and most effective way: 1. Make sure everything you say is accurate and backed up by facts 2. Make sure to collect all information ahead of time 3. Avoid unnecessary repetitions and expanding with more and more adjectives. 4. Practice ahead of time, many times, as preparation for your meeting 5. Be prepared and calm to receive feedback from the recipient as well. They must have some feedback on you too, and as much as you want to be listened to and respected in what you are looking to convey, your recipient may have some feedback and perspective that you might not have thought of. Be prepared to not only convey messages but also to be an attentive recipient yourself.
  6. 10 ways to have courageous conversations are : Check your ego, set your Intention right Mean what you say Set the emotional tone Be vigilant of victims and villains Facts First Discuss the “Difficult” Don’t stoop Counter defensiveness with humility Be clear in requests and commitments Stay future focused Let us look into each of the point in detail in next few slides.
  7. Check your ego, set your intention.  There’s a difference between speaking up and talking down to someone, making them feel smaller, stupid or small. Before entering into a courageous conversation, be very clear about why you are having it.  Speaking your mind is not fruitful unless it’s done thoughtfully and with a clearly defined rationale for why this is conversation is important.  The truth is that a message that comes from the heart, reaches the heart.
  8. Mean what you say.   Have a sincere discussion. Give your honest opinion . Believe in what you say . Don’t be flattery. Respect others opinion . Choose the right words . Mean what you say. Be candid in your feedback and honest in your opinion. Say what you sincerely believe needs to be said, even if you know others may not enjoy hearing it. People can intuitively tell when you are being sincere. They can also tell when you aren’t. Don’t sugar coat the truth in fake compliments and flattery.  Share what you want to say, and be sure to phrase it in a way that others know you respect their humanity, if not their opinion or actions.    Choose your words wisely and convey them correctly emphasizing on the right words.