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The Importance of Having Difficult Workplace Conversations

In any workplace, difficult conversations are an inevitable part of the job. Whether it's discussing a mistake that was made, giving feedback on a project, or addressing a problem with a colleague's behavior, these types of conversations can be uncomfortable and stressful. But despite their challenges, it is essential that these conversations take place in order for the workplace to function effectively.

This is the key topic my co-author Ken Cameron and I talk about in our 5 Star Amazon book 'I Need To F***ing Talk To You - The Art Of Navigating Difficult Workplace Conversations'

You can now order copies of our book here.

"Sometimes conversations suck, but you need to have them, and this book lays out how. Russell and Ken have put together and road-tested simple, up-front, and thoughtful approaches to awkward and difficult workplace conversations."

Andrew Phung, CBC's Kim's Convenience

One of the main reasons why difficult conversations are so important is that they help to maintain clear lines of communication. When issues are left unaddressed, they can escalate and cause bigger problems down the line. By addressing problems head-on, you can nip them in the bud before they become bigger issues that are more difficult to resolve. Additionally, by being upfront and honest in your communication, you build trust with your colleagues and create an environment of openness and transparency.

Another key benefit of having difficult workplace conversations is that they can help to improve the performance of the team or organization as a whole. For example, if a team member is consistently underperforming, a difficult conversation can help to address the problem and provide the support and resources needed to improve performance. In the same way, if a project is falling behind schedule, a difficult conversation can help to identify and address the underlying issues that are causing delays.

Additionally, difficult conversations can also help to promote personal and professional growth. For example, when receiving feedback on a project or performance, it can be difficult to hear constructive criticism. However, by being open and receptive to feedback, you can learn from your mistakes and improve your skills and knowledge. It's important to see the feedback as an opportunity for growth rather than a personal attack.

However, it's also important to remember that having a difficult conversation doesn't mean being confrontational or aggressive. In fact, the opposite is true; these types of conversations should be approached with a non-judgmental attitude, active listening and empathic understanding. It's also important to have these conversations in private, to avoid any embarrassment or discomfort that might arise.

To find some great tips on how to structure difficult workplace conversations why not check out this previous blog post 'Use the B.E.E.F Model to Correct Employee Behaviour'

Or check out our online course

In conclusion, difficult workplace conversations may be uncomfortable, but they are necessary for effective communication, improved performance, and personal and professional growth. By approaching these conversations with a non-judgmental attitude, active listening, and an empathic understanding, we can navigate the difficulties with less stress and more ease. Don't shy away from these type of conversation but rather face them head on with open mind, it will benefit everyone in the long run.

I hope you found this blog useful. As you continue your leadership journey, don't forget that here at Bluegem Learning we are always here to assist you.

If you'd like to hear more from business leaders about handing difficult workplace conversations, check out our podcast here, new episodes bi-weekly ...

Well that's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the blog and I'll be back soon with more, until then ... be a leader not just a boss!


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