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Train Managers to Handle Difficult Conversations

Get managers to stop avoiding, freezing, or giving in when the going gets tough.

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Contributors

  • Judy Ringer, Conflict & Communications Specialist, Author, and Coach, Power and Presence Training
  • Craig Dowden (Ph.D.), Managing Director, SPBOrganizational Psychology
  • Caroline Williams, Director of Education and Learning, Spark Training and Coaching Associates Inc.
  • James A. Whyte, Owner, Sebastian Group Ltd.
  • Manager, Learning & Organizational Development, Engineering Consulting
  • Jodie Barley, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Beth Collins-Kelly, Human Resources Generalist, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Ashley McFarlane, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Jenny Tennebaum, The HIROC Group
  • Jennifer Heikamp, The Regional Municipality of York
  • Diane A. Ross, Difficult Conversations Expert, Author, and Speaker, Elephant Conversations Ltd.

Your Challenge

  • Difficult conversations can be hard to approach as they cover workplace conflicts and topics such as delivering bad news, apologizing, asking for something, and discussing sensitive subjects.
  • Managers, like any other employee, sometimes avoid these difficult conversations because they do not have the confidence, experience, or methodology to approach them effectively and with confidence.
  • Avoiding difficult conversations can negatively impact employee productivity and engagement, costing the organization thousands of dollars.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Getting comfortable facing difficult conversations and handling them effectively starts with understanding the keys to successful conflict resolution and continues with support from peers, HR, and the organization.
  • The McLean & Company Difficult Conversations E.A.S.E. framework can help you through a challenging conversation by guiding you through the appropriate pre-work, engaging the employee in conversation, absorbing the employee’s point of view, sharing your own perspective, and ending the conversation with actionable next steps and follow-up.

Impact and Result

  • Decrease avoidance of difficult conversations and stop freezing and giving in when it comes to facing them.
  • Increase your success rate with handling a difficult conversation.
  • Save the organization on the costs from avoidance which can range from $100 to $50,000 dollars per conversation depending on the topic.

Research & Tools

1. Learn a framework to make difficult conversations easier

Assess manager comfort with conflict and teach new tactics to help them better handle challenging encounters with direct reports.

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Search Code: 75530
Published: June 25, 2014
Last Revised: June 25, 2014