Difficult Conversations: Authentic Communication Leads to Greater Understanding and Teamwork – by Martha Lasley
Like the Chinese word for crisis, which combines the symbols for danger and opportunity, difficult conversations can lead to either distress or harmony. We usually anticipate distress because difficult conversations often become emotional, leading us to confront, freeze, bolt, or gloss over the issues. But we could choose to expect harmony instead.
Imagine yourself at a tense planning meeting where the financial director reports, “To compete profitably, we need to lay off 20 percent of the workforce.” The marketing director responds, “That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. We need to lay you off so we can hire new people who are serious about growing the business.” Are you ready to add fuel to the fire, would you prefer to crawl under your chair, or do you have the skills to facilitate a conversation that could satisfy everyone in the room?
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