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Top 5 Tips for Successful Conversations at Work

Conversations at work can have a direct effect to workplace harmony and effectiveness

I hope my friend Kim has been following along with these recent blog postings about how to have those necessary, but sometimes difficult conversations at work.  Kim experienced a good deal of stress and anxiety around how to have a performance review conversation.  I’ve condensed some of the more important aspects to consider into a list you can refer to when having tough conversations at work.

Top Five Tips for Successful Conversations

Tip #1: Devote the Time
Conversations need time to grow. Research shows that we spend a lot less time talking to people close to us, than we should (or imagine).
Tip #2: Share the Airtime
Make conversations like dancing. They’re a two-way partnership, with neither side dominating.
Tip #3: Stay in Touch
Studies show that many of our ‘difficult’ conversations could be avoided by staying in more regular contact.
Tip #4: Value Differences
Every conversation is a potential learning experience. We can all make our lives richer by understanding the experiences of others. Having a conversation with someone is like exploring the pages of a book full of valuable knowledge. There is a technique called ‘The Johari Window’ which explores this concept further. Fiore Group Training uses this technique during our Respectful Workplace workshops.
Tip #5: Own Your Own Thoughts and Feelings
Try to avoid the Blame Game. Use statements that take ownership and responsibility for your own experience when talking about your thoughts and feelings.  Work with “I” statements and avoid “you” statements.


About the Author:

Phil Eastwood is a former London Bobby who brings a thirty-five year career in policing to his role as Senior Partner of Fiore Group Training, a recognized leader in training top North American organizations. Phil is lead author of workplace training courses in respectful workplace training, workplace violence employee training, and leadership training seminars.

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