Having Difficult Conversations: Top Tips

In this episode of the podcast I discuss the importance of managing difficult or contentious conversations successfully.

In this episode I will cover:

  • What difficult conversations are.
  • Why we avoid having them.
  • The dangers of avoiding these conversations.
  • My top tips on how to carry out these conversations successfully.

Action Points

  1. It should not be a surprise – Ensure that you are holding regular conversations about the required standards and performance.
  2. Conquer your fears – The conversation in your mind is always worse than that of reality.
  3. Change your mindset – A difficult conversation tends to go best when you think about it as just a normal conversation.
  4. Be prepared – You need to ensure that the evidence backs up what you are trying to achieve.
  5. Be positive – Spin your questions with a positive approach to open the lines of communication and have a positive dialogue.
  6. Handle reactions with care – Acknowledge emotions and respond with kindness and empathy.
  7. Cut out all distractions – Give your whole, undivided attention to the conversation.
  8. Be consistent – Hold all your employees accountable to the same performance expectations.
  9. Keep it confidential – Builds trust and confidence.
  10. Summarise your understanding and agree a way forward – Encourage your employee to come up with the solution.

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice below. Please ensure that any comments are respectful to all views and opinions.

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and training for employers, supervisors and managers. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £198 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion – [email protected] or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don’t forget you can contact us by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

Photo by Etienne Boulanger on Unsplash


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