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Difficult Conversations

Practical Tactics for Crucial Communication

Difficult Conversations contains a step-by-step template to help managers and senior executives prepare for conflict resolution scenarios in advance, along with sample scripts to address eight common issues that create conflict in the workplace. Order your copy today, and get the tools you need to use conflict as an opportunity to strengthen workplace relationships instead tearing them apart.

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Conflict is unavoidable

Conflict is unavoidable. Whenever there are two or more people involved in an activity, there is potential for disagreement and stress. But whatever the scenario, conflict resolution—if done right—can not only resolve disputes, but it can also strengthen relationships between the parties involved. You can accomplish this by having an action plan ready to implement whenever a difficult situation arises.

5 Steps to Resolving Conflict Resolution Scenarios in a Positive Way

  1. Prepare for the conversation. Review the situation before initiating a conversation. Evaluate your feelings and attempt to understand where the other person is coming from as well. Make sure you can clearly state the problem, and go into the meeting with a desired outcome in mind.
  2. Don’t procrastinate. Try to have the conversation promptly after a specific incident has occurred. The longer you put it off, the more challenging and uncomfortable it will become. It takes courage to initiate the conversation, but the sooner you do it, the more quickly it will begin to heal.
  3. Start by listening. Active listening is about being open and non-judgmental. Encourage the other person to share his or her side of the story, and try to put yourself in his shoes. Let go of your assumptions and really hear what’s going on. What emotions are being expressed? Don’t interrupt except to acknowledge the other party’s feelings and viewpoint.
  4. Avoid “you” statements. Use “I” to keep your statements focused on your thoughts and feelings. “You” statements will only put you back on the who-did-what-and-why merry-go-round and will not lead to any productive solutions.
  5. Conclude the conversation. When you’re planning your conversation, have an ending in mind. You need to reach closure, so that each of you feels satisfied with the outcome and knows what the next steps will be.