How to Have Difficult Conversations When You Don’t Like Conflict

This HBR article by Joel Garfinkle has some good ideas about how to have those conversations you are probably avoiding despite the fact that you know they need to happen.  I would add two points:

  1. Remember that feedback, which is what you are providing when you tell someone about the issues you are having with them, is a gift.  We all need more feedback as we tend to get very little constructive feedback in our workplaces.
  2. Although Joel suggests not planning your words, I would always recommend creating a "Constructive Feedback Statement" based on the formula:
    • I feel... (fill in this blank by explain how what the person did/does makes you feel)
    • when you... (explain SPECIFICALLY what they did)
    • because... (explain the affect of their behaviour on you, your team or the project)
    • would you please...(ask for a  new behaviour and be specific about what that would look like)
    • What do you think?  (this is where the conversation becomes a two way dialogue and moves the relationship forward)

Here is a link to the article...

Try giving the gift of feedback soon!