Sensitive Discussions At Work

Handling any sensitive conversation with an employee is not easy for either the manager or the employee.  The key to getting it right – is to act responsibly so that you do not break trust and confidence in the relationship.  It is therefore important to make sure that the appropriate person is tasked with having the conversation. A manager who thinks every difficult meeting with their employees is a battle to be won at any cost is NOT the right person to tackle a sensitive situation.It can often be embarrassing to raise an issue due to its sensitive nature or through a fear that the employee will react negatively to what is said. The reactions you could face are: disagreement,  rage, tears or even abuse – physical or verbal!
Whoever is tasked with having the difficult conversation, should do it as soon as possible. The potential consequences of not tackling the issue sooner rather than later could result in a number of problems occurring e.g. productivity problems for the individual, the team and the organisation as a whole.  In some situations, it may be obvious to other members of staff that the  manager is not dealing with an issue which could result in a loss of respect for the manager and the organisation as a whole.

It is important for the manager to put the mobile casino concerns across clearly to avoid any misunderstandings.  The message should be communicated in a way that is constructive, even though the information may seem negative. Sometimes, it just can”t be avoided.
6 Steps to Getting it Right – Managing Sensitive Discussions

1. Approach
Firstly, the manager needs to set the right tone. The manager should always be professional, and, in return this will encourage a professional attitude in response. If the manager approaches the matter in a non-threatening manner, he or she will make the employee feel at ease and encourage him or her to speak more openly.

2. Be Clear
To avoid misunderstanding, the manager should state clearly what the issue is. Don’t beat around the bush as this may cloud the message.

3. Put it in Context
The manager should demonstrate why he or she needs to address the matter by giving examples – by referring to dates, situations and documentary evidence and the impact the matter is having on the business.

4. Focus on the issue
The manager should avoid focusing on the person. The manager should focus on the facts of the issue and avoid expressing any opinion about the employee.

5. Avoid Blame
The issue needs to be addressed in a collaborative way rather than “a them and us” approach. The manager should be positive and assure the employee that he or she wants the issue to be resolved.  This gives a constructive tone and feel to the meeting.  Positive words like “improvement” and “achievement” should be used rather than “weaknesses” and “failure”.

6. Body language
Finally, behaviour breeds behavior and no more so than in our body language. The manager should make sure that his or her body language does not make the employee feel ill at ease. So take a neutral stance rather than crossing everything and anything!

miles@tcmarketing.co.uk

Author miles@tcmarketing.co.uk

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