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How to Get Over Your Resistance to Having Difficult Conversations

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Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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You can’t be an effective leader if you’re unwilling to have tough conversations from time to time. Whether you’re giving critical feedback to an underperformer or explaining why the team has been restructured, don’t avoid uncomfortable situations. It’s better to address them head-on. Here’s how:

o Shift your mindset. Don’t think of it as a difficult conversation; see it as an opportunity. More often than not, tough discussions can actually strengthen personal bonds if you handle them well.

o Regulate your emotions. You’re likely to be scared, anxious, even angry. Allow yourself to feel those feelings, but then focus on the task at hand.

o Be direct. Don’t hem and haw. Say what you need to say directly and honestly, while also expressing compassion.

Adapted from “What’s Worse than a Difficult Conversation? Avoiding One,” by Deborah Rowland

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To check out that HBR article and join the discussion, please click here.

Also, you may wish to check out an anthology, Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, by clicking here.

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