4 Steps for Managing Uncomfortable Conversations at Work

4 Steps for Managing Uncomfortable Conversations at Work

How many times have you had to work through an uncomfortable situation at work?

Maybe you had to deliver feedback to an unpleasant coworker or share discouraging news with your team.

The workplace is no stranger to awkward and uncomfortable moments, but that doesn’t mean that you can ignore the information that needs to be delivered in the first place.

Even if your feelings about it might be completely valid.

If you’re experiencing unnecessary stress or anxiety from these moments, follow these 4 steps to effectively manage any future uncomfortable conversations at work:

Step #1: Focus on the Goal of the Conversation

Tough conversations can stem from a number of uncontrollable events.

Regardless of what the event is or what information you need to relay, your feelings on the matter shouldn’t overshadow the goal of delivering an impactful message.

Step #2 Back Up Your Claims with Objective Information

People typically become uncomfortable or anxious about delivering bad news because they are anticipating a negative reaction from the other person.

While this isn’t completely avoidable, your responsibility as the person sharing the news is to be as objective as possible while providing rational information to discuss.

Step #3 Ask for the Other Person’s Perspective

After you’ve gone through and relayed your message, it’s time to get the perspective of whoever received this information.

Nothing is more frustrating than being told something uncomfortable or discerning and not being able to share your thoughts.

Step #4 Offer Your Professional Input

Depending on your role (manager or coworker), you’ll want to share your thoughts on the information that was delivered.

True leaders support their employees or coworkers by guiding them through what next steps will be taken.

Implement this framework into your conversations today, and you’ll never have to shy away from uncomfortable conversations at work again.

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Learn how to structure uncomfortable conversations to make them easier to deliver, more effective on impact, and helpful to set employees and coworkers up for success.

Take the learning a step further and dive deeper into these concepts by checking out our latest How to Effectively Manage Uncomfortable Conversations at Work course.

The first chapter is completely free.