Monday, May 14, 2012

Handling Delicate Conversations

Discussing with a coworker the need to correct a personal habit or stop an annoying behavior is an age-old dreaded experience. If you have procrastinated with such a chore, chances are you’ve grown more irritable and frustrated, but is your job satisfaction and productivity also slipping? If so, it’s a good sign to delay no more. Realize that the reaction you imagine getting when you broach the subject is almost always overblown. Thankfulness is a much more likely response from your coworker than shock and horror, so go for a polite style. To proceed, request a private meeting and say you would like to offer some feedback that is difficult to share and that it is personal. This is a buffering introduction to help your coworker be receptive. Share your concern in a direct but calm manner. Always add how the behavior affects your productivity or work environment. Smart move: Affirm the value you and others maintain for your coworker. This won't undermine your goal, and it will add to your coworker’s motivation to change.