Difficult Conversations: Understanding Yourself, to help THEM

As we gear up for our featured speaker next week; I will be discussing the foundations of preparing for difficult conversations in the work place. Marc Falkenstein will be featured on May 4th, discussing having difficult conversations, the do’s/don’ts and imparting years of wisdom. What is the most basic foundation of facilitating a difficult conversation? Emotional intelligence! What is emotional intelligence and how can it be applied to4 Steps  having difficult conversations you ask? As defined by Peter Salavoy and John Mayer, Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

I will be discussing how to utilized emotional intelligence in planning difficult conversations in four steps. 

  1. Recognize; The first step to planning a difficult conversation is to recognize your emotions regarding the situation and consider the emotions of the other parties involved. Are you angry, frustrated, or confused? How do the other parties involved feel? Are they aware that anything is being perceived as wrong? Are they happy in their current position? 
  2. Assess; Next, assess the impact those emotions are having on your behavior and/or performance at work. After that, assess how these emotions are affecting the other person’s behavior and work performance. If a person does not perceive anything as going poorly then their overly positive emotions can lead to unrealistic goals. If the person is experiencing negative emotions, this can lead to poor work performance and morale. It is important to introduce positivity into difficult conversations to create open conversations and a safe environment. Avoid blaming, finger pointing, or name calling. If possible meet in a space other than an office.
  3.  Understand; So you have been able to recognize your feeling about the situation or behaviors that lead to this conversation, now you need to ask why? Why am I feeling this why? Have I been triggered by something? Why does the other party involved feel the why they do? This is the time to ask questions to understand the situation from their perspective and try to understand their actions and feelings. 
  4.  Manage; After the first three steps, you are now ready to manage the emotions involved in strategic planning to create a to a favorable outcome for all. Prepare a plan to reach the best pre-determined outcome for you and the other person. Have a clear objective and end goal for this conversation.

Please tune in next week for more motivation, and our guest speaker Marc Falkenstein!


Resources :

Harvard Review- Manage a Difficult Conversation with Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership- Forbes


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