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Trainer’s Tip: Dealing with Difficult Conversations


A great tip from Joanna Howard this week sets out a format for dealing with those difficult conversations.

One thing I've found very useful, and it always goes down well with people I'm training, is an old assertiveness formula. People like it as it gives them something to hold on to, they feel safe, and it usually has a good effect.

It goes like this:

"When you.... (eg come in late three times a week)... it has the effect that... (eg it sets a bad example, customers have to wait etc. Must be real and observable)."

Take a breath.

"What I would prefer is for you to ....(e.g Come in on time).
"The benefits to you would be .... (eg you won't have a disciplinary, you get your work done in time etc).
"The benefits to me would be.... (eg I have the whole team together to give out the work, I don't get complaints from customers etc).
"The benefits to the group would be....( etc)"

Take a breath.

"What do you think about that?"
They comment or justify, eg: "Oh but I have to take the kids to school and I have to be late..."
"So what is your plan to… (eg either get in early, or reduce the bad effects of the lateness)."


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