Tackling Tough Conversations
No one likes conflict, but the good news is that the toughest conversations can also be the most fruitful. If you’re struggling to deliver negative feedback, there are lots of things you can do to minimize tension and achieve a positive result. Check out Cydcor’s tips for making your next difficult conversation go more smoothly.When emotions are running high, it helps to remind yourself to take a step back and just listen. Click To Tweet
Listen and Acknowledge
When emotions are running high, it helps to remind yourself to take a step back and just listen. Make an effort to hear the other person out. Resist the urge to interject. Show that you’re listening by maintaining eye contact, nodding and reflecting back what was said. You don’t have to be in agreement in order to make the other person feel like he or she has been heard.
Stay Focused on the Issue at Hand
Don’t make a difficult conversation even harder to navigate by bringing up unrelated grievances. Keep the focus of your discussion as narrow as possible, and avoid airing out other frustrations that come into your mind while you’re talking.
Make Sure Your Words Match your Intentions
Never go into a tough conversation without putting some serious thought into how you want the other person to feel — and ultimately, what you’d like them to do. Assuming your intention is to influence new positive behavior rather than to cut ties, you’ll want to steer clear of any language that is discouraging, accusatory or hurtful. Be careful not to sabotage what you really want to accomplish by saying what feels good in the moment.
Watch Your Tone of Voice and Body Language
Remember, it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. Set the stage for a constructive conversation by keeping your tone of voice positive and your body language neutral. Avoid speaking too loudly, sounding irritated, sighing out loud, rolling your eyes or crossing your arms.
This is where it helps to be prepared! Make your next difficult conversation go more smoothly by citing specific facts and instances, rather than making generalizations or referring to vague circumstances in the past. Avoid embellishing or using words like “always” or “never,” which are bound to trigger a defensive response.As human beings, we’re not generally good at realizing we’re wrong. But do the best you can to consider the merits of the other person’s point of view. Click To Tweet
Keep an Open Mind
This one’s tough. As human beings, we’re not generally good at realizing we’re wrong. But do the best you can to consider the merits of the other person’s point of view. Perhaps there are circumstances you didn’t know about or facts that weren’t clear before. You never know, maybe you’ll see things differently by the end of the conversation.
Focus on What’s Next
Once you’ve addressed where you’d like to see change, shift the focus of the conversation to the future. Put on your problem-solving hat and delve into a constructive conversation about how both parties will behave moving forward, and ideally, how you can work together to achieve a positive outcome.
Do you have your own tips for tackling tough conversations? We’d love to hear! Share them with Cydcor in the comments below.
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We are Cydcor, the recognized leader in outsourced sales and marketing services located in Agoura Hills, California. From our humble beginnings as an independent sales company to garnering a reputation for consistently exceeding client expectations and driving outstanding revenue growth, Cydcor has been helping Fortune 500 and emerging companies achieve their customer acquisition, retention, and business goals since 1994. Cydcor takes pride in the unique combination of in-person sales, call center, and digital marketing services we offer to provide our clients with proven sales and marketing strategies that get results.