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Coaching strategies to navigate difficult conversations in the workplace.

Most people have had experience with a difficult conversations -it’s why we tend to avoid them at the best of times. But avoidance will not lead to change and growth, however if you can change up the way you approach difficult conversations you can gain more confidence and get better outcomes. Todays blog shares 7 skills I help my coaching clients with in order to develop strategies to support their career resilience, management and leadership.

Healthy approaches to difficult conversations that supports wellbeing

Mindset: When you know you have to have a difficult conversation you get nervous but you can try to reframe it positively. For example; you're not giving a negative performance review, you are providing an opportunity for constructive feedback development. This little reframe will help you stay in your power and approach it with a positive mindset.

Breathe: Mindful breathing through a difficult conversation helps you stay out of fight or flight mode and helps you regulate your nervous system. It allows you to absorb any blows and refocus and is a great technique to use while in the moment.

Plan: If you can plan what you will say by jotting down some notes and having some good options for how you will respond. Rarely does the conversation go to script but you will have some options you can recall in the moment.

Acknowledge the other person: If you don’t know or understand the other person’s point of view, ask questions to find out what the problem is. Express interest in understanding how they feel, take time to process their word and tone. Once you have heard and understand the issue, look for overlap between yours and their point of view.

Compassion: Difficult conversations can lead to strained workplace relationships so it is wise to approach them with empathy and compassion. You might not be delivery good news but it is important to deliver news in a courageous, fair and honest way.

Slow Down and Listen: Slowing your cadence and pausing before responding gives you a chance to find the right words rather than reacting and helps the other person defuse negative emotion.

Reflect and Learn: After a difficult conversation it is good to reflect and consider what went well and what didn’t. Think about your reaction and what you could have done differently.

If you or an employee needs help with developing the skills for difficult conversations, conflict resolution or interpersonal skills please visit the website page on career of leadership coaching or workplace coaching.


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