Difficult Conversations: Top 7 Mistakes That Cause You to Mishandle a Conversation

Difficult Conversations: Top 7 Mistakes That Cause You to Mishandle a Conversation

Okay, you are facing a difficult conversation and you want to “get it right” or at least get close to success. There are things you can do to help yourself and then there are the classic mistakes we all make. These mistakes really hurt us because we fail to handle the conversation well and we lose confidence for future conversations.

Top 7 Mistakes in Handling a Difficult Conversation

  1. Let your fears dictate your actions

  2. Don’t deal with your emotions before the conversation

  3. Pretend there are no risks involved in having the discussion

  4. Bring too many issues to the conversation

  5. Don’t plan when, where, and with whom you will have the conversation

  6. Give power to others to decide if the conversation was a success

  7. Don’t learn from your mistakes and successes so as to plan for the next conversation

Sound Familiar? You’re Not Alone

Recognize any of these mistakes from badly handled incidents in the past? Don’t beat yourself up too much, you’re not alone. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be a “difficult conversation”!  But you can definitely learn better strategies to make your next difficult conversation a success.

For more on how to avoid these mistakes, and on handling difficult conversations, read my ebook, “Stop Arguing & Start Working: 6 Steps to Being Confident, Calm and Capable During Difficult Conversations At Work.” The book is available now.

For updates on my book, tips on how to deal with workplace conflict and bullying behaviors, exclusive content, and detailed reports, sign up for my free newsletter.

I’ve been a strategic consultant on workplace conflict to executives worldwide for more than 20 years. My work brings individualized solutions to your teams’ lost productivity, loss of key personnel, low morale, and the high costs resulting from bullying, abrasive behaviors and interpersonal workplace conflicts.

I’m Kathleen Bartle, Conflict Consultant.


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