Well-being at work: Having the difficult conversations

Thursday, November 29, 2018 10:10 am
Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Jodii Maguire

You can listen to Jodii Maguire from Think! Performance Psychology‘s full conversation with Kirste and Morro on Brekky below:

Having difficult or ‘real’ conversations at work can be challenging. We often tend to avoid the conversation and hope that the situation will rectify itself and go away. But what if it doesn’t? this can be a very real source of stress for some people and can impact on our workplace well-being. So how can we have the conversations we need to have?

Why do we avoid the conversation in the first place? Some reasons may include;

  • Don’t quite know what it is we want to say
  • We are nervous about making the situation worse
  • We don’t know how to start the conversation
  • We get nervous about the other persons reaction to what we want to say.

Try these 4 simple steps to having the conversation

1. The planning

Start with the planning. Think about and plan what you really want to say and how you can make the situation better. Understand your ‘real’ motivation for the conversations. Are you truly trying to make improvements and build the relationship or are you angry or frustrated about something? Think about your own role in the situation and what you need to take responsibility for and own it.

2. The doing

Find a time to have the conversation that works for both of you. Make sure the setting is private and on mutual grounds.

3. The sitting through the emotions

It is possible that during the conversation it can get a little emotional or tense but work hard to sit through the emotions and listen to each other. Take turns at listening without speaking – Be curious and don’t react from a place of anger or fear. Be open to the conversation and truly listen. This can be really challenging so work hard.

4. The way forward

Find some things you can both agree to improve the situation. It might be as simple as acknowledging you see things differently and will respect that. It might be you both have to change some work habits. Make sure you agree on some thing both people can do to restore harmony and teamwork.

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