This page supports Spearfish Innovation's workshop on Managing Difficult Conversations. It is designed to help you have more successful conversations, especially when they are the ones you’d rather avoid.
People often ask themselves if it’s worth having a difficult conversation. In general you have four choices:
The bottom line is: trust your instincts. If you think you need to have a conversation, then have the conversation.
The majority of the work in any difficult conversation is work you do on yourself. No matter how well the conversation begins, you’ll need to stay in charge of yourself, your goals and your emotions. Breathe, calm yourself, and keep focused on your outcome. At the same time you will need to be responsive to the other party and their emotional state.
Check in on your attitude toward the conversation – is it influencing your perception of it? If you think it is going to be terribly difficult, it probably will be. Focusing on a positive outcome will help you approach it much more confidently.
For details on each of the steps above, download our Quick Reference Guide
As with any new skill, practice makes all the difference. Find a coach or mentor to help you through the process. Talk with folks you think are good at handling difficult conversations and seek their advice. Be willing to share with others what you’ve learned and what’s worked for you in a given situation.
Spearfish Innovation will be happy to work with you and your team to design a workshop tailored to your needs and your environment. Our highly interactive, engaging sessions provide you with the tools, frameworks and plenty of practice to help build your skills and your confidence.
If you'd like to know more contact Mike Northcott: email@example.com and he'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.