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Difficult conversations are bound to happen in any relationship, personal or at work. Here's how to make them healthy and effective.
Did you know that over 1.5 million results appear when you search for the term: “difficult conversations” on Google?
Here’s what to consider before and while having them.
Difficult conversations are characterised by high-strung emotions, reactions and resistance. This happens as the topic might be sensitive for either party or both. Nonetheless, they must be had, because they are important. A person is considered effective in communication if they learn to initiate, engage and state the desired results while engaging in such difficult conversations.
There are various approaches to initiating a difficult conversation. But based on the context, we need to alter the tone, syntax and framing of the problem. Navigating through difficult conversations unscathed and obtaining the best outcome is not always plausible. But some techniques can help the initiator stay in control of the conversation.
Learning the strategy to communicate during such conversations can prevent irreparable damage. According to various reports, ineffective communication in the healthcare sector is a leading cause of significant negative impacts on patient safety and health concerns.
Before engaging in difficult conversations, it is necessary to consider some of these aspects.
It is important to have such conversations when something begins to concern you. Avoiding it can prove detrimental in the long run. Delaying these conversations will prove problematic for both parties. Thus, delaying the conversation is not beneficial to everyone involved in the conversation.
As difficult conversations affect us, our emotions can overpower us. Such feelings can lead to unexpected reactions and statements, which only the person evincing them can control.
Hence, be compassionate and do not prevent them from expressing themselves. Cutting them off while they are experiencing these emotions can escalate the situation, which is not salvageable. So, handle the person delicately. Assess their current mental state and if they are in a position to carry out a coherent conversation. Once this has been determined, move forward with it.
One of the many reasons to avoid difficult conversations is the kind of relationship that a person may share with the other individual. Irrespective of whether the relationship is intimate, or whether the individual is in a higher position at work, do not abandon this conversation out of fear of altering the status quo.
A difficult conversation must be had if it is essential to your welfare or theirs. The context could be either official or unofficial. The individual’s opinion about the person and the nature of the relationship may alter the course of the conversation. We must be prepared for other outcomes after such conversations.
Statements that are made during these conversations can impact an individual’s behaviour, performance and results. These need not necessarily be in the predicted manner. We need to carefully consider the body language, parlance, syntax and lexicon used during such difficult conversations.
It is possible to predict the behaviour of the person during such situations. Even in such cases, the conversation does not become less indispensable.
The reason these conversations are labelled “difficult”, is because the very crux of the topic meant to be discussed is unique and challenging. On occasions, both parties involved can experience distress and discomfort. So, consider how behaviour from both sides can become a roadblock to what could be a productive conversation.
Image Credit: Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay
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Rajshri Deshpande, who played the fiery protagonist in Trial by Fire along with Abhay Deol speaks of her journey and her social work.
Rajshri Deshpande as the protagonist in ‘Trial by Fire’, the recent Netflix show has received raving reviews along with the show itself for its sensitive portrayal of the Uphaar Cinema Hall fire tragedy, 1997 and its aftermath.
The limited series is based on the book by the same name written by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy, who lost both their children in the tragedy. We got an opportunity to interview Rajshri Deshpande who played Neelam Krishnamoorthy, the woman who has been relentlessly crusading in the court for holding the owners responsible for the sheer negligence.
Rajshri Deshpande is more than an actor. She is also a social warrior, the rare celebrity from the film industry who has also gone back to her roots to give to poverty struck farming villages in her native Marathwada, with her NGO Nabhangan Foundation. Of course a chance to speak with her one on one was a must!
“What is a woman’s job, Ramesh? Taking care of parents-in-law, husband, children, home and things at work—all at the same time? She isn’t God or a superhuman."
The arrays of workstations were occupied by people peering into their computer screens. The clicks of keyboard keys were punctuated by the occasional footsteps moving around to brainstorm or collaborate with colleagues in their cubicles. Most employees went about their tasks without looking at the person seated on either side of their workstation. Meenakshi was one of them.
The thirty-one-year-old marketing manager in a leading eCommerce company in India sat straight in her seat, her eyes on the screen, her fingers punching furiously into the keys. She was in a flow and wanted to finish the report while the thoughts and words were coming effortlessly into her mind.
Natu-Natu. The mellifluous ringtone interrupted her thoughts. She frowned at her mobile phone with half a mind to keep it ringing until she noticed the caller’s name on the screen, making her pick up the phone immediately.
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