How are you at conversations? My guess is, for the most part, most of you are pretty good at the day to day conversations. But how are you at having hard conversations? Sometimes that can be a whole other realm most of you don’t feel comfortable entering. Why? Because of the risk involved. When you need to saying something deeper than a surface conversation, you have no way of knowing how the other person will receive your words. Learning how to have a hard conversation is a vital skill to acquire for work and home.
Why do you struggle to address an issue with someone? Simple, it takes guts! It’s easier to sweep an issue under the rug, but easier isn’t always best. What do we mean by hard conversations? Let’s focus on the work environment.
I once worked with a woman that was quiet and hard to read. I could never tell if this lady enjoyed working with me or not. She was just there. After a while, I began to hear some things through the grapevine that she wasn’t thrilled to be working with me. The natural thing for me to do would have been just to let it fester and say nothing to her. She would be moving soon, so I could have easily let it slide. However, that’s not me. So I racked my brain trying to figure out what I had done to make her have harsh feelings towards me. I couldn’t come up with anything. Finally, I decided that I needed to hear directly from her what the grievances were so that I could have a chance to apologize for the unintended offense.
Directly to the Source
I picked a day that I knew she would be around and I was determined to talk to her. My palms were sweaty, my heart racing, I wanted to chicken out, but it was important. Confidently, I asked her if we could talk in private and she accepted my invitation. Calmly, I went right to the point. “I heard you feel that I wronged you. I can honestly say, I have no recollection, so please fill me in so we can talk about it.”
She looked shocked! I think she was amazed that word had spread about me and I was questioning her directly. Thankfully though, we concluded that it was a misunderstanding that had taken place. We ended our conversation being friends and colleagues.
If you are trying to decide if you need to have a conversation like that with a co-worker, DO IT! It’s freeing for both involved to share their thoughts rather than let it boil into something outrageous. Most of the time, it is a simple misunderstanding. It just needs an opportunity to be explained.
Make sure you go into the conversation with the mindset of what can “I” do differently, versus what they need to change. Learning the art of communication, especially when it comes to handling an issue will make you more approachable and more respected by those around you. The key is to keep your cool and have respect for the other person. And remember to make yourself the central theme in the conversation. Your work life will improve, and you will be more productive. Now go have that hard conversation!
About Balance & Harmony 360², Inc.
Owned and operated by Melinda Smith, CPO®, we offer Business Training & Consulting with a Twist! Our sweet spot is working with Entrepreneur’s and their companies to create a productive work environment, happy home, and prosperous you! Our passion is listening to clients goals, thinking through solutions and coming up with creative 360² action plans that address work, home, and you! We also provide dynamic action oriented training to get your team motivated. Learn to Love Going to Work Again! Increase Time with Your Family! Get Things Done! Most important, our process is simple and geared toward the professional. You CAN get your LIFE back in BALANCE!
Author, Trainer, Life Organizer®
Melinda Smith, CPO® organizes and executes action plans, training, and consulting. Great referrals are business owners, executives, and companies looking for sustainable change. Above all, she can help create a more productive work, a happy home, and a prosperous you.
Particularly relevant is the fact that Melinda has worked with companies and individuals for over 20 years. Conducting workshops across the East Coast, they include over 60 cities in 19 states. Equally important focus topics include Strategic Thinking, Teambuilding, and Organization. As well as Balance Strategies, Stress Management, and Embracing Change.
After all, Melinda was one of the first 200 in the nation to achieve a Certified Professional Organizer status. Also, she is also a graduate of the Western School of Feng Shui (pronounced feng shway).
Melinda has owned Balance & Harmony 360², Inc., since 2003. She is also the author of The Complete Guide for Balance & Harmony OWL Kit. Also, this kit consists of a book, workbook, and F.O.C.U.S. Journal as well as five products to help organize Work, Home, and You.
Check out more about Balance & Harmony 360² at:
Website Store: www.balanceharmony.com/store