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Handling difficult conversations: Alternatives to Ostrich-Style Hiding


Difficult conversations are crucial for growth and progress.


Whether it's conflicts, performance issues, or feedback, we know that we have to find a way to face them in a constructive way.


Despite knowing that our initial reaction is always the same:

Avoid, Hide, Escape


But it doesn't have to be that way. Let's dive into the art of handling difficult conversations at work, where teamwork and clear communication are key to success.


Instead of panicking, embrace your strengths and approach these conversations confidently, like an energetic dancing ostrich.


Start this way:


1. Building a Foundation of Trust

Imagine a workplace where trust is the DJ spinning a great party playlist. As a leader, you hold the power to set the mood and create an environment where your team feels safe to groove together. Foster trust by encouraging open dialogue, active listening, and creating a space where different voices can sing together.


2. Preparation and Approach

Just like a choreographed performance, in a difficult conversation preparation is key. Define clear objectives and choose an appropriate time and place.

During the conversation, practice active listening and validate others' perspectives, fostering a constructive environment where everyone feels heard.


3. Managing Emotions and Resolving Conflict

Difficult conversations can quickly escalate and emotions may intensify, much like a heated dancefloor. However, it is crucial to remain calm and composed in such situations. Practising self-awareness allows for effective emotional management and ensures that you do not disregard the emotions of others.

Focus on finding common ground and moving closer to a point of understanding, the goal is not to "win" the argument but to find mutually beneficial solutions.


4. Effective Communication

Get ready to show your best moves in the world of communication. Active listening, like dancing to the beat, ensures smooth information flow. Pay attention to non-verbal cues, as they can convey as much as words do.

Start with open-ended questions to promote idea sharing, then transition to more closed ones to narrow down alternatives and seek agreement. Keep the vibes positive and stay focused on the main objective, avoiding distractions.


5. Teamwork and Collaboration

In the world of difficult conversations, teamwork is the secret sauce. Encourage team members to support one another during challenging discussions. By leveraging diverse perspectives and experiences, you tap into the collective intelligence of the team: just like a variety of dance styles, the magic happens when everyone dances to the same beat.


Use these steps as a guide to achieve successful conflict resolution. Stop worrying about “doing it right”, and get into practice.


Are you in need of extra support? Let’s work together to become an Authentic Leader or explore Build your Leadership Style program for your entire team.


Happy dancing!

Serena

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