Essential Steps for Handling Difficult Conversations

Diff Conversa 2 WEBAs a “recovering” Human Resources professional, working in hotels no less, I’ve had my share of difficult conversations with both guests and employees. Conversations with employees ranged from body odor, to inappropriate dress, unprofessional behavior, rule infractions, personality conflicts, petty territorial disagreements, and you name it. While some workplace conversations can be difficult, avoiding them is not recommended. First, we’ll look at the consequences avoiding difficult conversations can bring and then look at the essential steps for handling them.

Some people think that because an individual holds a managerial position that he or she automatically understands how to handle difficult conversations. Further, while managers may think they are confident and competent at holding difficult conversations, Human Resources (HR) holds a different opinion as indicated in the graph below.

HR Graph WEB

                                                                                                  Source:Adapted from Handling Difficult Conversations at Work

Well certainly a CEO knows how to chew these conversations up and spit them out. The fact is, that most of us don’t enjoy holding these conversations and many of us are not that skilled at having them. In fact, according to a study appearing in a Sage Publication, these conversations can be unnerving and emotionally draining. So, as human nature dictates, we avoid the unpleasant and the awkward. Failing to hold training sessions for difficult conversations is only asking for trouble.

If You Don’t Like Change – Don’t Come to 2020

Change 210You would be hard pressed to find one human on the planet today who has not been affected by some change – no, not just some change, but major changes to their life. Business is on the frontline of that reality. If anyone doubted the importance of humans to business, as consumers, employees, and other stakeholders, that doubt must be as dissipated as a morning mist when it meets the warmth of the day. The people in business who handle most challenges around your people are in Human Resources. Would you want to be the one handling all the changes around people in business today?