A Manager’s Guide to Having Tough Conversations In The Workplace

First thing’s first: What is a tough conversation?

Why do you need to have them?

When should you have them?

How can you prepare for a tough conversation?

  • Define the purpose of the conversation. What do you want to achieve?
  • Choose a time and place where you will not be interrupted.
  • Make sure you have all the facts. Gather information from multiple sources if necessary.
  • Consider how the other person is likely to react. What are their concerns?
  • Plan what you’re going to say. Write down key points or make an outline.
  • Practice delivering your message out loud. This will help you to stay calm and focused during the conversation.

Navigating Tough Conversations

Quick tip to make it easy on you and your employee/s:

Managing expectations of conversations

Keep the team’s performance at the top of the mind

Tips for having conversations about poor quality work

Be specific about what needs to be improved.

Avoid coming across as judgmental or close-minded.

Manage your own emotions.

Keep the conversation focused on the work, not the person.

Suggest solutions and resources.

End with a plan.

Speaking up when you disagree with your employee

Addressing problems creates a better environment




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Jeffrey Fermin

Jeffrey Fermin

Howdy 👋🏼 I’ve been in HR Tech since 2011 when I co-founded Officevibe (left 2016) | Trying to make the future of work the present | Let’s talk people ops 💬