Start the conversation by empathizing and acknowledging the positives instead of immediately venting.

Angie Colee is a coach who helps creative entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Over the years, she’s developed a six-step process to resolving conflicts with colleagues at work.
It’s crucial to start the conversation in good faith, Colee says, and collaborate on a solution.

Healthy professional relationships are key to advancing a career or building a business. But regardless of how much you like your colleagues or clients, running into tense or uncomfortable work situations is inevitable at some point, and getting stuck in a snarky spiral of “Per my last email” or “If you’d been to the meeting, you’d know” can quickly torpedo professional relationships. 

As a confidence coach for creatives and entrepreneurs, my clients often come to me for advice when a working relationship suddenly seems to be spiraling out of control and emotions are running hot. 

In the five years I’ve been coaching, I’ve developed a six-step formula for having hard talks with bosses, colleagues, and clients. When done right, it can help even the most hot-headed of people learn to lead hard conversations calmly. Here’s how to do it.

1. Empathize with them

If you go into a conversation with someone with a set idea that you don’t like or trust them, it will be tough to engage in a meaningful discussion.

Because of this, I encourage clients to enter conversations in good faith and believe that the people they work with are good people with good intentions. Empathizing helps you to avoid taking uncomfortable conversations personally and recognize that we’re all just humans trying to do our best, even when we fall short.  

For example, if a client hasn’t sent payment for an invoice you sent a week ago, instead of jumping to conclusions by thinking “They’re not paying, they’re trying to cheat me,” consider that maybe they were in an accident, had a family emergency, or lost a key employee. Instead of assuming the worst, give them the benefit of the doubt and ask what’s happening on their end.  

2. Acknowledge the good stuff

Remember what you like about this person, project, or position. Do you want to keep working with them once this problem is solved? If you do, tell them.

People can sense a hard talk coming and their first reaction typically is “Oh no, I’m being fired!” or “They’re about to unload on me,” so starting the conversation with what you …read more

Source:: Business Insider


6 steps to defuse conflicts with anyone at work, from clients to coworkers

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