At the close of our Handling Difficult Conversations training session we ran this week, the participants described it as both practical and helpful. With our approach of a blend of training and coaching, participants work on scenarios they bring into the session, or which they are likely to face as suggested by us.
In this case they were associate level lawyers with either direct reports, or project reports. Difficult conversations ranged from giving feedback on the quality of work when the junior person considered it good, through to personal hygiene issues. How to approach a senior on a matter which you know they have got factually wrong, was also discussed.
Building a strong foundation to establish the right to give feedback is the beginning, and a step often overlooked by many in managerial positions.
Our personality certainly plays a part in our approach to these situations, as well as why we find them difficult in the first place.
Participants left with very specific actions which they are planning on implementing immediately, and we will be following up to see how they get.