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As a leader, difficult conversations will often need to be had to alleviate tension in the work environment as well as lighten up a generally awkward atmosphere. Tough conversations might be prompted over discussions of firing someone, overdue payments, workplace gossip, and more. By nature, these sorts of dialogue tend to be tough. However, one also doesn’t know how an employee might react at the moment. So, this may add even more stress when it is time to have this discussion. Of course, tough conversations don’t always have to turn out bad. There is a way for the management or an employer to speak to minimize conflict.

Go In with the Right Mindset

Having a good mindset prior to approaching a person to discuss serious matters will help reduce inflammatory dialogue. One shouldn’t have tough conversations when they are busy or tired. A person’s level of patience wears thinner when they are rushing or haven’t gotten enough rest. Employees shouldn’t feel rushed to consume the news due to their employer’s urgency to move onto something else. Allow employees the time to process any news of letting go, demotion, or salary deductions. A leader should sit at their desk and visualize the desired outcome of the conversation.

Practice Empathy

Leaders should empathize with the feelings of their teammates, colleagues, and employees. Everyone is entitled to their feelings so allow the other party time to properly respond to any potential bad news. If there are discussions where an employee is asking for a pay raise, it may be difficult for them to do so as it usually is for any worker. Employers should hear out all the demands and frustrations expressed by employees. Besides, they are still human too.

Acknowledge Positive Outcomes

Tough conversations can end on a positive note by acknowledging the positive outcomes. An employer shouldn’t just let go of an employee without outlining some positive news especially if this is a dedicated worker. Instead, employers can provide referrals to their employees so that they have better luck transferring. Doing this will show employees that their management still cares about them and appreciates their contributions. Taking this approach to tough conversations will greatly diminish negative reactions or feelings of resentment.