It is a common human tendency to stay away from conflicts. Many individuals prefer evading acts and interactions that may pave the way to a confrontation with others. This thought process manifests in professional life as well. People in various types of jobs do their best to avoid engaging in difficult conversation at work. They often look for alternatives to having a confrontation including the use of diplomacy and indirect tactics. However, it becomes necessary to engage in conversations with colleagues on topics you feel uncomfortable with.
People try to avoid engaging in tough conversations at the workplace for various reasons.
Sometimes, you may resort to diplomacy to resolve a problem at the workplace and try finding an alternate solution to confrontation. However, in some situations, engaging in a difficult conversation at work is the best way to resolve a problem.
While engaging in a difficult conversation can prove to be beneficial for you, you must do it aptly. Unless you are careful about it, the outcome may not be favorable. Listed below are some handy tips to engage in a difficult conversation at the workplace while not going over the top.
If you think having a conversation on a tough or unpleasant topic with a co-worker or someone in the company management is the best option, prepare for it well. Do not just confront the concerned person without any preparation! Make sure you know all your points before engaging in the conversation. You may also write a draft and read it several times if memorizing the points in a sequence seems tough.
The time for engaging in a difficult conversation with a colleague is essential. You should ideally pick a mutually convenient time. It is prudent not to choose a time before an important workplace event such as a meeting or presentation. Do not pick a day for having such a conversation on which you have other tasks lined up. It is better if you ask the other person about a timing ideal for him/her.
The place for having a difficult conversation is also important. It should not be a place frequented by other employees, ideally. The place should not be noisy, too. You may think of choosing a room or a place like a terrace if serenity is there. A pleasant and noiseless atmosphere will help ease the difficulty, to an extent.
Before you engage in a conversation with a colleague on a tough subject, make sure he/she is updated about it in advance. Inform him/her using email or message and if necessary you can update using the phone, too. Unless the other person knows the subject of the upcoming conversation, he/she cannot prepare well. That will reduce the scope of a productive outcome.
Your body language must be just right when you engage in a difficult conversation at work. Your demeanor should be assertive but not aggressive. Do not appear casual but use apt gestures and interactions to exhibit your seriousness on the topic.
The conversation that you plan to have with a colleague on tough topics should be practiced beforehand. You can practice with yourself using voice recorder apps, for sure. However, a better and more effective option would be practicing such conversations with seasoned speakers, on a dedicated platform. That is where PracUp can be useful. You will be able to improve your vocabulary and pitch, significantly by trying this platform.
You may have your views and beliefs on the subject under discussion. However, to make a difficult conversation at work productive, it is necessary to have an open mind. Listen to the view and ideas of the other person involved. It may so happen that both of you find an alternative and improvise on the view shared by the other. This will make it easier to find a solution to the issue.
It is not uncommon for anyone to get annoyed or impatient when having a difficult conversation with a coworker. However, if you feel stressed or annoyed during such conversations, learn to calm and control your mind. Remind yourself that the objective is finding a solution and not winning a verbal battle or settling a personal vendetta. If you remain calm and composed during the conversation, the other person is unlikely to get hyper, as well.
To prove your point in a tough workplace conversation, do not grow impatient. Listening to the person patiently is important so that you understand his/her point of view clearly. When you talk, do not use a very fast pace either. Speak slowly and clearly so that the other person can grasp the idea well. Take a small pause before explaining a critical point. Stress the important points as you speak or reply to the person. To practice and improve on these intricate nuances of professional communication, try PracUp.
It is necessary to show professional courtesy after having a difficult conversation at your workplace. After the conversation is wrapped, thank the other person for his/her time. If you manage to conclude the topic, it is fine. Even if a resolution is not reached and further interaction is required, express your positivity about it.
There is no way you can escape from having difficult conversations at the workplace eventually. Evading interactions on tough professional topics will only escalate the issue and create other complications. To ensure such conversations lead to a productive outcome, prepare well and practice well before engaging in the actual session. Practicing professional conversations on myriads of topics on a platform like PracUp can be helpful in this regard.