Harvard Business Review: 20 Minute Manager series: Challenging Conversations: Animated Summary reviews

May 24, 2022

Today’s big idea comes from Harvard Business Review and their 20-Minute Manager series. The series is designed to get you up to speed fast on crucial business skills in a jiffy! In this video, we will focus on ‘Difficult conversations’

What makes a conversation difficult?
You know the feeling: that knot in the pit of your stomach, the fog that descends on your mind. You’re avoiding a difficult conversation. Perhaps You fear the confrontation, or maybe you simply don’t know what to say or where to begin!

A difficult conversation is one in which the other person has a viewpoint that differs from yours, where one or both of you feel insecure in some way, and the stakes are high.

Whether you have harsh feedback to deliver to an employee or colleague or whether you feel wronged or misunderstood by the other person, these situations can be unsettling – even for great communicators.

In this video, we will review four steps that can help you conduct a difficult conversation successfully.

#1 Should you act?
The first thing you need to do is decide if ‘the juice is worth the squeeze’? Meaning; is this something you can easily let go of? Or are you constantly brooding and letting the issue affect your work or private life? If the latter is the case, you might as well go ahead and schedule a meeting! See, no matter how uncomfortable the confrontation, you will be better off, in the long run, by facing the situation head-on.

#2 If you decide to act – prepare!
If, after careful reflection, you decide to initiate a discussion, it’s time to proactively build the right mindset. Whether a difficult conversation will be successful depends on how well you prepare before you walk into the room.

#3 Conduct the conversation
A good tip is to start with thanking and acknowledging the other person.

Next, frame the problem by quickly describing the issue from your perspective.
– Keep your tone neutral and your body language open.
– Try to explicitly describe your views using “I” statements.
– Don’t be afraid to express your feelings,
– Look for common ground,
– Focus on issues (not personalities),
– Ask questions and remember to listen.

#4 Follow Through
Now that the most challenging part is behind you, the time has come for following through.

Start by debriefing and reviewing your performance.

The next step is to reach out in writing. Start by saying thank you for the time and effort it took to meet. Then reiterate at least one point your counterpart made to demonstrate that you listened, and briefly summarize the next steps as you understand them.

Finally, remember always to keep any commitments you made during the meeting.

Please watch the video for a more elaborate walk-through of each step.! And If you enjoy it, please remember to give it ‘a like’ and to share it with your network and on your social media.

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1 Comment
  1. Jay sree krisna bhai e

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