Workplaces are incredibly social environments; full of chatter from 9am till 5pm (and beyond!). From conversations on strategies and action plans, discussions with clients over new business, right down to chit-chat between staff; business thrives on talking.
But when it comes to some subjects, broaching the topic and having a conversation can be complicated, and sometimes even stressful;
From discussing issues such as timekeeping, poor performance, attitude problems and staff disputes to sensitive and awkward subjects such as the death of a colleague, redundancy or even addressing a personal hygiene problem. Each of these issues, in their own ways, can prove to be difficult conversations but are often simply a part of life in the workplace.
Many managers feel that these topics (and many more) are difficult conversations to start and conduct effectively and are worried how the person on the receiving end might react.
For these reasons, the conversation is often ‘put off’ or avoided; yet it is exactly this behaviour that can have a detrimental affect on staff and business.
Recently, the Learning Consultancy Partnership (LCP) conducted a survey on Managers’ views and behaviour regarding “Difficult Conversations in the Workplace”, and have produced a report with their findings. The report also contains advice and guidance from a range of professionals, including the Urquhart Partnership’s Chartered Psychologist, Julie McDonald.
It’s a very interesting and extremely usefully guide to have to hand– so please feel free to download a copy: