Listen UP! The Pitfalls of Failed Conversations. A Workshop for the Public Risk Management Association September 12, 2013. Most lawsuits are the result of failed conversations – talk about risk!. Today’s objectives. Increase confidence when handling difficult conversations
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Listen UP! The Pitfalls of Failed Conversations A Workshop for the Public Risk Management Association September 12, 2013
Most lawsuits are the result of failed conversations – talk about risk!
Today’s objectives • Increase confidence when handling difficult conversations • Provide tools for handling real conversations
Your conversation • Reflect for a moment on a situation you need to discuss with an employee. • What is the situation • The reasons you haven’t addressed the situation yet • The effect it has on you
What makes a conversation difficult? • Sensitive subject matter • We don’t know how to approach the topic • We are concerned about the reaction • We don’t like confrontation • History • Too busy attending to other job duties • Cultural issues • Relationship with employee • Legal concerns
Types of difficult conversations • Confronting unacceptable behavior • Providing honest feedback on poor performance • Sharing tough decision outcomes • Discussing a “taboo” issue like hygiene or dress • Saying “no” instead of yes • Addressing opportunities for improvement • Terminating an employee • Your examples …..
Benefits of effective conversations • Behavior changes • Goals are achieved • Morale is improved • Work is distributed equitably • Consistent management practices lead to confidence in manager • Organization can take disciplinary action if necessary • Legal risk is reduced
Preparing for the conversation • Needs to take place on a timely basis • Arrange the time and place/privacy • Understand who should participate • Check your intentions • Prepare your core message • Have your facts • Know your policy • Be prepared with documentation • Prepare your opening comments
Using Emotional Intelligence • Emotional intelligence is the ability to know and manage oneself along with an awareness and ability to manage one’s relationships with others • EI is a skill critical to the successful outcome of a difficult conversation • 90% of managerial success is attributed to Emotional Intelligence
Self-awareness • How do I feel.. • Am I angry, frustrated, nervous, intimidated, confident? • Do I know my triggers? • What is my self-talk?
Self-management • How do I react … • Do I show my anger, frustration etc.? • How do I behave under stress? • Do I accept responsibility for my responses? • Can I control my feelings? • Do I have the ability to deflect ?
Social awareness • How do others feel.. • Am I able to feel empathy? • Do I pick up on other’s behaviors? • Am I a good observer? • Do I listen?
Relationship management • Do I work at building relationships? • Can I handle conflict? • Do I collaborate? • Am I a role model? • Do I influence and persuade others?
Conducting the conversation • Focus on the behavior • Keep demeanor professional • Get to the point • Work on mutual agreement • Demonstrate respect • Explain consequences • Avoid assumption/blame • Follow up/document • Discuss facts not opinions • Avoid a power struggle
Dealingwith potential responses Lying Lack of awareness Anger Expect Emotions! Refocusing Silence Crying Denial Sarcasm
Follow up • Document and share with person • The issue may require more than one conversation • Provide positive feedback when change occurs • Provide consequences for lack of behavior change • Remember, some habits are difficult to change
Summary • Conversations must take place • Preparation is key • Process • Emotion • Follow up is necessary - recap • Know and use your resources • May require more than one session
Thank You! For more information about this workshop and others, please contact Connie Poulsen Management Training and Consulting firstname.lastname@example.org