Difficult Conversations? Mastering the Art of 'Simple'Posted in : HR Updates on 18 April 2016 Issues covered:
What if you were able to have every conversation confidently? What might change?
We believe that we are living in the ‘information age’, but that’s not quite right. In truth, we live in a communication age and savvy businesses are taking this seriously.
As a society we tend to give ‘communication’ short shrift. At school we’re taught how to read, write, speak and use grammar, but we’re given very little guidance on how to express views clearly, empathise and influence others. Generally we leave school or university with little understanding of the significance of good communication and healthy conversation, as the building blocks that lie at the very heart of good relationships.
So, when we enter the world of work, we have little appreciation of the significance of every conversation to our success, or the influence that each one has in building and sustaining good relationships.
The challenge is, whether we are at work or at home, we need to be responsive to our world, and that requires change. We effect change by engaging in honest conversations with ourselves and with others. Each conversation we have will enhance our relationships, flat-line them or damage them.
We build relationships incrementally - they don’t just happen, they grow one conversation at a time.
Human nature leads us to seek a magic bullet that will instantly make us great communicators, and many of us believe that we are, when perhaps we’re not. In reality the solution is to increase our self-awareness and practice mastering the basic fundamentals that will raise the standard of our communication and our conversations.
If we lower the standards about how often we talk, what we talk about and, most importantly, the degree of authenticity we bring to our conversations – it’s a slow and deadly slide.
Yet, many teams I work with have a list of ‘un-discussables’; issues they avoid broaching at all costs in order to preserve the relationship. In reality, the relationship steadily deteriorates for lack of the very conversations that we so carefully avoid, as does the level of trust. We’d like to be able to successfully tackle difficult or challenging topics that keep us stuck or apart, but often it’s just too hard.
The great news is that we can learn, or re-learn the art of conversation and the skills involved in a healthy two-way exchange that is built on a solid foundation of self-awareness. Once we challenge our perceptions, appreciate our values and become comfortable with who we are – magic happens!This article is correct at 18/04/2016
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