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on September 15, 2013

Do you need to have a difficult conversation with someone at work? Your stomach churns every time you anticipate the response of the other individual, your head pounds at the thought of having to address sensitive issues with your boss and you are losing sleep thinking of the “what ifs”.No one is immune to workplace tensions and it is inevitable that that you will have difficult discussions with clients, bosses and coworkers during your career. Though it is doubtful that you will enthusiastically look forward to these conversations, there are some techniques which can make them more effective and lead to better results:Don’t speak from a script – if you memorize what you will say, it will come across as less than sincere. The other individual will be able to sense that you have scripted out your approach and s/he will not be open to engage in a resolution-based conversation. Jotting down a few speaking points is a good idea, though, to help you remain focused.Ask questions vs. react – What might be going on with the other person? What can you do to help? By focusing on the other person’s needs, you will avoid inaccurate assumptions and non-productive emotions. While this may not be the most natural response to the situation, it will help you better understand the other perspective.Provide context – to help the other person understand your message, give sufficient information so s/he knows why%



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