Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

October 17, 2018

Getting Through That Awkward Conversation At Work

We hope to solve problems without talking. We’re looking for that magical spell, which is understandable. Our career or job is our livelihood.

We’ll tolerate annoying conditions or behavior for weeks or longer just to avoid feeling uncomfortable.

man in brown long sleeved button up shirt standing while using gray laptop computer on brown wooden table beside woman in gray long sleeved shirt sitting

Listen first!

Minor issues vrs big: We sometimes see minor issues as much bigger than they really are and we don’t set a simple boundary like a simple “I feel..” statement.

We allow rather minor things to annoy us for too long (e.g. doing work at your old job for free, putting up with noisy equipment, a broken chair, etc.)

As part of the latter, we let things build up, “stamp saving” and then “cashing in” all at the same time. Better to use the “task” method outlined in Matthew 18.

CEO’S and leaders on down can have this exact same communication problem. When a leader or manager can get the courage to actually talk to someone things can go much better when done well.

Some further tips on better communication.

It’s best to ask for change with an easy tone. If we use the same tone we use with non-personal issues like, “I can’t get this software to work”, we lower the chance of defensiveness.

It’s important to see the difference between complaints and criticisms. Complaints are about actions, criticism is about the person and or shaming and blaming.

Most people do not get that upset when an issue is brought up. If we listen to feelings, thoughts, wants and needs we can show we are on their side.

Own your stuff. Take ownership for your perception and avoid blaming and shaming. Say, “It seems..”,  “Perhaps…” etc..

Reference patterns but do not assign meaning to them. Let the other person consider possibilities of what the action might have meant.

Use “l” statements. Say., “This might be my perception only but…” Or “When X happens I feel Y

Get familiar with feelings. Feeling charts abound on the Net, even on our Website. Find possible feelings for yourself and the others in the situation.

Slow down anger by listening to yourself and to others. Write out what you want to say and write down your response when talking to the other person. In the meantime make sure you are actively listening with empathy.

Don’t worry about who is right and who is wrong. Avoid defending yourself.

Jump into their perception and point of view. Ask yourself ,”What would I think or feel if I was in their shoes”

Don’t gossip but do consult with trusted others about how best to handle the situation.

Get a boss, friend, spouse, mentor or coach to help you set goals to improve this area of your life. You’ll be pleased at the changes.