Manage these difficult discussions with confidence

Nobody likes having difficult conversations – but they’re an inevitable part of work. Whether you’re dealing with conflict between coworkers or addressing a mistake someone made, these conversations can be tough to navigate. But difficult conversations don’t have to be painful. Following a few simple tips can teach you how to have productive and constructive difficult conversations at work.

Don’t avoid the conversation – it will only make things worse

Communication is the key to success in the workplace and beyond. Trying to brush off or avoid conversations with colleagues is a surefire way to make any situation worse – if anything, it makes it more awkward and uncomfortable! A colleague’s opinion or insight may not always be welcomed with enthusiasm, but don’t ignore it. Instead, engage in active dialogue – you never know what they’ll say next and it might open up new avenues of solutions. Communication is essential for personal growth, so don’t be afraid to start the conversation; you won’t regret it!


Conflict delayed is conflict multiplied

♬ original sound – thecanadian87

Be prepared with what you want to say

When interacting with a boss, one thing is for sure – being prepared makes a huge difference! Knowing what you want to say before your boss even asks the question can go a long way. Take time to plan out the points you want to make and practice articulately delivering them. A well-thought-out response will show your boss that you are serious about your work and not just randomly throwing ideas around. Taking this extra step can help instill confidence in your performance and boost your relationship with the boss for future encounters.

Choose a neutral location to have the conversation

Choosing a neutral location can be a great way to dialogue with a colleague or client successfully. One of the most critical aspects of these conversations is creating an environment that puts both parties at ease. This could be anything from meeting up for coffee to going for a walk in the park – whatever suits the situation best. Find out what would make the space comfortable and professional without being overly stuffy or intimidating. Just make sure it’s someplace you can concentrate!

Be respectful and calm throughout the discussion

No matter how passionate you are about your opinion, it is essential to remain respectful and calm when engaging in a discussion. Upholding respect for yourself and others involved will help keep emotions in check and ensure that conversations can be conducted in an efficient and meaningful manner. One key indicator of respect is listening carefully to the perspective of all participants instead of dismissing or criticizing without consideration. Being mindful to stay calm also means that all sides can better understand each other while expressing their views confidently yet civilly.

Listen to what the other person has to say

Listening to what our colleagues have to say is a skill that can be hard to master – particularly if they’re telling us things we don’t want to hear. But taking the time to really listen without distractions can open so many doors. It shows empathy, respect, and humility and can even spark new ideas or solutions that no one ever expected. Even when it doesn’t feel convenient, listening to others will always be essential to any conversation or professional relationship.

Come up with a solution together that works for both of you

When conflict arises, it can be challenging to come to an understanding that takes into account everyone’s needs. But instead of slipping further into conflict and confusion, why not focus on solutions? Taking the time to work together on a solution that benefits both parties can help restore harmony. Being open and honest with one another is vital in finding conflict resolution–it sets the tone for collaboration. Work together and see what solutions you can develop; it might result in something better than either of you expected!


No one ever said that being an adult was easy – but part of the job description is learning how to have difficult conversations. Whether you’re discussing plans with your colleagues or trying to compromise with your boss, managing these delicate conversations is key to maintaining healthy relationships. My course Speaking Mastery will teach you what you need to know about having tough discussions without ruining relationships. Don’t let another argument go unresolved – sign up for Speaking Mastery today.

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