Hard conversations are the ones you put off. They can be with a person you find difficult to communicate with, or maybe about a topic that you find uncomfortable. These simple tips can help make hard conversations easier on you and everyone around you.
The list of hard conversation topics that come up in coaching usually focus on things like giving negative feedback; asking for a pay-rise; delivering "bad news" and the list goes on.
Here are a few things you can do next time to make a hard conversation easier on yourself.
1. Set a Goal - Decide exactly what you want to achieve with this conversation in advance.
2. Rehearse - Practice what you are going to say, especially that one sentence that you know will be the tricky one.
3. Keep it brief - Often when people need to have a hard conversation they "skirt" around the issue. The receiver of your message knows when you're avoiding the issue. It's easier on everyone to keep your delivery succinct and to the point.
4. Depersonalise - Try to phrase your message in terms of your own feelings, and avoid being a finger pointer. Deliver your message in a way that makes it easy for the other person to co-operate, instead of becoming defensive. (eg: Instead of "When you do this, it wastes time for the whole team." try "When this happens at work, I find it very distracting.")
5. Back up Plan - Instead of worrying about the worst thing that could happen, why not re-direct this thought train into a way of creating a back up plan, in case you don't get your desired outcome.
Kirsty Janney - My Executive Coach - Personalised Coaching Solutions - I work with individuals, managers and their teams to improve performance at work every day. For a confidential discussion about your coaching requirements, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org