A – Always use clear, simple and neutral language. Refer to specific examples and facts
L – Listen to what the other person is saying and hear their point of view. Show you care about how they see things
K – Keep the focus on the issue, not the person In comparison to workplace woes, just 19 per cent of respondents found discussing something personal like sex a tricky situation and, at 17 per cent, even fewer are phased by breaking up a relationship. Unfortunately, problems in the workplace arise all too often as 51 per cent said a difficult conversation crops up at least once a month or more, according to the research.
Despite this, the CMI claims that too many employees and managers have strategies to deal with the stress. This results in 56 per cent of people taking things personally, 41 per cent straying from facts because of their emotions and 40 per cent freezing up.
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“Our survey findings reveal that difficult conversations are really taking their toll on workers. When it comes to our home life we often rely on friends and family to support us with tricky discussions,” said Petra Wilton, director of strategy and external affairs at CMI.“At work, with no advice or training, it can feel like tiptoeing through a minefield. It’s no wonder 61 per cent of people told us they would like to learn how to manage workplace conversations with more confidence.” At 57 per cent, more than half of respondents said they would do almost anything to skip difficult conversations at work, and 52 per cent said they put up with problems rather than confronting them. The main reasons behind this are fear of not stating the issue clearly and getting upset. Wilton, added: “It’s scandalous that so many people would rather be miserable at work than face a difficult conversation. This reluctance to talk things through not only has a negative impact on individuals, but can quickly affect wider team morale.” By Zen Terrelonge Image: Shutterstock
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