How to Make Your Job Work for You Series – Part 3: Tackle the Tough Conversations Head On

Tackle the Tough Conversations Head On

So far in our blog series about how you can take your future and your career into your own hands we’ve covered creating a sense of belonging and putting a focus on continuing education. Next up… tackling hard conversations at work. This touchy yet important subject is one that doesn’t get too much attention, but can be a game-changer in your happiness at work and your career trajectory. Today, 7 out of 10 people surveyed avoid difficult conversations at work, that’s the good majority.

So how is this habit of avoidance impacting you and your career?

Likely, it’s causing you to let problems or concerns fester and you’re growing to resent your role and organization. You probably internalize reactions or question your performance, when in reality you are doing great. It may lead you to start looking for a new role rather than giving your all to the one you already have. Sound familiar?

But, what would happen if you embraced that discomfort and had the hard conversations?

You’d likely become happier, more fulfilled, achieve bigger goals, develop stronger interpersonal relationships, increase your confidence, and learn skills that you’ll take with you throughout your career.

So, how do you have those tough conversations? Our team has a few tips!

3 Tips to Navigate Hard Conversations at Work

Whether it’s asking for a long-awaited promotion or raise, being open about a conflict with a teammate, admitting a mistake, or discussing opportunities for growth—workplace conversations can be uncomfortable. But rather than internalizing, dwelling, and becoming detached, as it’s possible when you have those hard conversations, you’ll clear things up and get what you want! Here are a few tips to navigate those conversations with ease:

Make a List & Practice

Make a list of the things you want to say and practice making those points with a friend or family member prior to the conversation at work. Or if you have a mentor outside of work, that would be great too! Have them play your boss or colleague with prompts of questions to ask. This way, you’ll have practice speaking your mind, making the points that are important to you, and asking the questions that you’ve been letting fester in your mind. Preparedness makes things more comfortable and helps you control your delivery and the way you present yourself. Try it

Embrace Empathy & Listen

People may not want to hear what you have to tell them. That’s likely why you’ve avoided the conversation from the get-go, right? So put yourself in their shoes and be empathetic to their reactions and take nothing personally. Business is business, it’s important to take our emotions out of it when possible and think rationally from all points of view. Listen to their point of view, be empathetic, and respond calmly and in a way that isn’t reactive. This way, you’ll be able to work towards solutions by understanding one another’s points of view!

Trust Yourself & Be Confident

Trust yourself. Know that you know what is best for you, what you want, and what you’re capable of. Many times we avoid these hard conversations because we don’t believe we’re worthy of more, or we don’t think people will listen to our points of view. If you embrace your inner confidence and trust your gut that this conversation will lead to bigger and better things for you, a lot of the time, it will! If you don’t go after an opportunity or take the chance to correct a difficult situation, nothing will ever change.

Need More Guidance to Tackle These Uncomfortable Situations?

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed and don’t know how to start with those hard conversations that you know can help you level up, you’re not alone. We’ve designed our NimblyWise programs to help talented professionals navigate the choppy waters of the world of work. With one-on-one coaching to target specific workplace challenges, our mentors and experienced coaches will work with you to help you overcome your specific struggles and thrive at work. Ready to begin? Let’s chat.