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Deal starts: September 18, 2022

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Preparing for difficult conversations is an important part of effective communication in the workplace. A difficult conversation is one where emotions are involved, there's an element of risk, and the exchange has the potential for confrontation.When you're preparing for a difficult conversation, don't avoid the situation. Make sure your goal for the conversation is clear, realistic, and relevant. And make sure to choose an appropriate time and place to have the conversation.There are four steps to changing a negative internal monologue to a positive internal monologue. Step one is to be aware of your negative inner voice. Step two is to consider both positive and negative possible outcomes of having the conversation. Step three is to focus on the goal of the conversation. And step four is to develop a positive internal monologue by reframing negative thoughts in a positive way.Preparing for a difficult conversation involves analyzing the practical and emotional levels of the conversation, and then planning your approach.Guidelines for analyzing the practical level are to consider the other person's perspective, consider your own viewpoint, make sure you understand the situation, make sure you don't assign blame, admit your mistakes, and reverse roles to consider the other side of things.Analyzing the emotional level involves managing both your emotions and the other person's emotions. Planning the conversation involves identifying your goal, outlining the structure of the conversation, and rehearsing the conversation.When you're preparing for a difficult conversation, it's imperative to examine your own attitude toward the conversation. Your mind-set is the logical thinking that determines how you interpret and respond to communication. The right mind-set will make it easier to communicate effectively and reach the goal of your conversation. The four qualities of an appropriate mind-set are being open-minded, collaborative, empathic, and engaged.Having a difficult conversation, and making it progress well, requires following a clear structure. It should also involve adopting an appropriate communication style to suit the individual and the context.There are five steps to creating progress in a difficult conversation. First, open with an agenda. Second, invite dialogue. Third, share views and perspectives to learn from each other. Fourth, look for a mutual understanding, and finally, design an action plan.Your communication style throughout the conversation is crucial to a positive outcome. It's important that you're clear and direct, and focus on the facts. You need to be honest and fair to your colleague. Also, be assertive but tactful, and listen effectively.Once a difficult conversation is opened well, the second step is inviting dialogue. This involves connecting with the other person by using strength-focused communication.Strength-focused communication can keep others engaged. This involves speaking to a person's strengths, acknowledging feelings, and understanding the benefits of another approach.