Dealing With Difficult Conversations

I recently took a free 1 hour course on NewsU.org called “Dealing With Difficult Conversations”.

Early on in the course I took a self-assessment of what style of conflict resolution I had.  The first time I took it my style was “competition” which is “I see difficult conversations as win/lose and I will win”.  About a week later I took it again and I was tied between accommodation which is  “I hate the bad feelings that come from difficult conversations and prefer to give in rather than press for what I believe is right” and avoidance which is “I’m so fearful of a bad outcome that instead of talking I avoid the person entirely..”.

The first time I took it, I had theology on the brain…and my first thought was “There’s some things you just don’t compromise with– especially in religion.

And with the second go around… with every day matters that aren’t as meaningful, I don’t feel it necessary to press for the things I “want”, I’d just rather make the other person happy.  And with matters that would probably hurt the other person to bring up, instead of bringing it up and making a issue about it, I’d probably just pray…so that’s my avoidance.

Through this course I learned that it is best to get straight to the point and to explain the reason they are there.  After giving bad news one should provide answers as to what there next step should be.

Another thing I learned from this course was that after someone has a difficult conversation with an employee, the employer is to give some sort of follow up, whether that be through an email,  a letter, note, a meeting scheduled for the future, or even a drop by the office.

The only things that really surprised me about this course is how it asked you to give possible answers the way you would begin a difficult conversation and then to be able to compare it with a professionals.  I was also surprised at how organized it was.  It wasn’t confusing at all and it stayed on track, on topic the entire course.  There weren’t too many deviating links that it gets you confused.  Only a few, so it wasn’t bad.

This course covered all aspects of dealing with difficult conversations from initiation to getting out on that wire, to wrapping up the conversation in a respectful manner, all the way to a follow up in some cases.  I don’t think there is anything I really feel like I should have learned that I didn’t get in the video.  Although it was short, it covered I think every basic aspect of dealing with difficult conversations.

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