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About to have a difficult conversation? 6 points to remember…

Work conversations or conversations that work?

  • Do you usually only ever talk to your colleagues about work?
  • Do you feel pressurised into cutting conversations short, getting to the point and moving on to the next topic?
  • Do you generally email to avoid talking?
  • Do you craft a quick email and then go back to the top and remember to add in ‘How are you’?
  • Do you only have meaningful open conversation with someone before they join your team or once they have resigned?

We all have days when we act like this. However, of this is your default ‘factory setting’ start listening to the alarm bells as you will not be helping your team to feel truly engaged. And remember – staff engagement is the route to improved organisational performance.

If the only conversations you have are transactional – that is likely to be the extent of your relationship with your colleagues.

We all know the adage – people join organisations but leave managers.

Stop for a moment – ask yourself – why would they work for you?

If your conversations are genuinely meaningful and sincere, then that’s the relationship you will have with your colleagues and to many of them you are the organisation. Claire Foster, Aziz ‘Challenging Conversations’ expert explains:

I have helped managers for over 30 years find their voice, their courage and the clarity of thought to work out, not what they wish they had said in the past but, what they really want to say now to strengthen their relationships, deepen the trust and make working together mutually rewarding.”

These conversations are not all ‘nice cosy chats’. They are structured, two way discussions about why, what and how things matter. Before venturing into that challenging conversation, keep in mind six simple facts about your team:

  1. They are at work for a range of reasons
  2. They need clarity on outputs expected
  3. They want to do a good job and be recognised for it
  4. They welcome support to improve
  5. They recognise there will be challenging conversations
  6. They Expect you to manage

About Claire Foster:

For over 20 years she has specialised in Leadership and Management Development, in particular helping individuals and teams have the right conversations to move their business and people forward. She believes that good business processes only operate effectively if people can work well together in an environment of mutual trust, understanding and respect.

About Aziz Corporate

Aziz was founded over 30 years ago by Khalid Aziz, a media pioneer of his day who at 21 became the youngest ever appointed BBC producer.

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