Set yourself up for strategic conversation success.

3 tips to make challenging conversations easy


Are you the kind of employee who avoids conflict or do you prefer to meet challenges head on? How you react to challenging situations is an important factor in your chances of reaching business success.

Leaders and innovators rarely shy away from confrontation, instead embracing the difficulty as an opportunity to learn and grow. When you are faced with a tough conversation, which natural instinct will you follow – flight or fight?

To help you rise to the challenge and boost your assertiveness skills and training, here are three tips that can make even the most difficult conversation seem simple.

Cut to the chase

Don’t stop to chat about the roses or beat around the bush – if you have something important to say, then say it. Unnecessary small talk not only weakens your point but can also confuse the point of the conversation.

Facts outweigh emotions every time

Regardless of the topic of difficult conversation, facts should always be given priority over your emotions. Is your manager more likely to respond to examples of how an issue is impacting on productivity or how it is making you feel?

Challenging discussions become much easier when you focus on the organisation, rather than individual impact. And emotions rarely affect the bigger picture.

Hear out your opponent

It can be tempting to dominate the conversation in order to maintain control. However, is more effective to let the other person talk for a while.

By listening attentively, you can specifically address their views and opinions. Your conversation partner may have important input that can alter your own views on the subject, leading to an entirely new and unexpected outcome of the discussion.

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