The art of carrying out critical conversations

College courses or MBA seldom teach us is how to conduct and manage difficult conversations. Managing these difficult conversations is all the more important in an economy that is becoming highly competitive and is consistently keeps pushing the workforce to higher levels of performance. This pressure brings about an increased sense of anxiety among workers. Managers and supervisors at all levels are finding themselves in situations where they must take their reportees into confidence and convey rather unpleasant things.

Which are the situations in which higher-ups need to have a critical conversation with employees? These are some of them:

  • Interpersonal conflicts
  • Decrease in performance
  • Performance reviews
  • Policy breaches
  • Layoffs
  • Disciplinary reprimands that has to take gender, age, and ethnicity into consideration
  • Inappropriate behavior in the workplace.

At such delicate meetings, expectations and apprehensions from both sides are high, because of which a lot hinges on how this conversation goes.

Gets worse when supervisors are ill equipped to handle

While this kind of conversation is very important; most people who undertake it are either people with limited training on how to handle it, or are not experienced enough for it. The company putting vague or general workplace policies, as well as having concerns about potential litigation, don’t make life any easier for supervisors to construct a critical conversation with an employee.

When critical conversations are held in such scenarios, both the supervisor and the employee feel that the conversation actually worsens the situation or the issue. Handling critical conversations is not the toughest of jobs, but will be so if the right skills and strategies don’t go into it.

Get complete understanding of how to handle difficult conversations

It is to help professionals in such situations understand and implement the proper techniques needed for striking a critical conversation that is both useful and relatively pleasant that TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry, will be organizing a webinar.

Dr. Gerald Lewis, an international consultant and trainer, who has worked with national and international government agencies, healthcare facilities, educational institutions and private businesses on a wide range of work, behavioral health and organizational issues, will be the speaker at this webinar. His focus is facilitating organizational recovery and resiliency with the emphasis on “people-recovery”, and has also authored three books: Critical Incident Stress and Trauma in the Workplace (1994), Workplace Hostility: Myth & Reality (co-author, 1998) and Organizational Crisis Management: The Human Factor (2006).

Please register for this webinar by visiting TrainHR.

Viewing this webinar, its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM.
Credit is awarded based on the actual educational time spent in the program.

This webinar has been approved for 1.25 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

Making difficult conversations palatable

In addition to providing an overview of how to manage critical conversations; Dr. Lewis will show how strategies that can make these critical conversations smoother and pleasant for all parties involved can be adapted. He will offer tips and techniques that will lead to a more successful outcome. He will also chalk out a list of resources which will help participants gain more knowledge and experience on their own.

In this webinar presentation, which will be of high value to professionals such as First line supervisors to senior department heads, anyone in a supervisory position who is responsible for the performance of other employees, Human Resources, Labor Union Representatives and Employee Relations Personnel, who are frequently faced with situations in which they need to have critical conversations, Dr. Lewis will cover the following areas:

  • The types of “critical conversations” that are now required in the workplace
  • How to prepare yourself for a critical conversation
  • How to prepare the employee for a critical conversation
  • The “dos” and “don'ts" of critical conversations
  • How to set up the structure of the critical conversation
  • How to follow-up.

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