CHANGING COMMUNICATION 4
Difficult conversations are common everywhere be it in theworkplace, in school or even in a home setting. Difficultconversations are mainly discussions which are considered to have agreat outcome if they are indeed carried out. More often than not,difficult conversations are held in order to rectify a particularbehavior or trend by a person that is having negative effects on aperson or an organization. Many people avoid difficult conversationssince they fear the reaction of the other party. However, there arevarious strategies that can be applied to make sure that difficultconversations are improved and attain the desired results.
Firstly, it is essential to set the goals and objectives of theconversations. One needs to ask what outcomes are expected after theconversation, what is the non-negotiable in the conversation and whatshould be accomplished. It is critical to have set goals at thebeginning of the conversation. This helps in creating a plan forachieving the set goals and also determining how to approach theother party. It is also essential to plan on how to close or end theconversation. One critical element in the closure of any difficultconversation is to have set actions that will be taken after theconversations. It is paramount to agree with the other party on theplanned actions to be taken and discuss any obstacles that may hinderthe implementation of the actions. It is also essential to discusswith the other party on how you can contribute towards the agreedremedial actions. It is also to have a follow up of difficultconversations in order to establish the progress being made.
Another strategy that can improve difficult conversations is to havean inquisitive mind while at the conversations. Before engaging inany difficult conversation, it is essential to reflect upon one’sattitude towards the conversation and the other partner. It iscritical to avoid having preconceived thoughts and or notionsregarding the other person or the conversation. Any form ofpreconceived notions will mean that there will be predeterminedoutcomes to the conversation. Therefore, it is essential to approachthese form of conversations with an open mind and to give the otherperson an opportunity to express himself or herself. Just as a doctorconducts a diagnosis on a patient before giving prescriptions, it isparamount to listen to the other person in a difficult conversationbefore make conclusions. This applies in the conversations wherethere is enormous evidence and there is no need to listen to theother party. This strategy greatly improves the efficiency ofdifficult conversations. An example is when I approach a fellowstudent who uses his mobile phone during group discussions andinterferes with the concentration of other members. It is importantto have a conversation with such a student, but to listen to his sideof the story first.
Consistency in difficult conversations is extremely important. It isessential for a leader or any other person involved in a difficultconversation to have consistency in terms of the set rules and theprocedures towards achieving the outcomes. For instance, it iscritical for a manager to treat all employees equally while engagingin difficult conversations with employees. There is need to setstandard conditions for all difficult conversations and to ensurethat they are strictly followed. Failure to have consistency in adifficult conversation jeopardizes the relationship between the twoparties hence resulting in failure and non achievement of the setoutcomes. It would be essential for me as a group leader to deal withmembers who demonstrate interruptive behavior such as phone useduring group discussions in a standard manner free of favoritism.
In conclusion, it is clear that difficult conversations cannot beavoided and that they need strategies to make sure they succeed.Being consistent in the engagement with the other party enhances andimproves difficult conversations. Additionally, approaching theconversation with an open mind enhances the outcome and therelationship between the two parties. Lastly, it is important to haveobjectives and set outcomes for the conversation. This will ensurethat the conversation follows a strict path that leads to theattainment of the goals.