What you will do to make your point clear and candid during the conversation.

Difficult Conversations

Scenario: The performance of your top employee has recently slipped. You had a conversation with the employee to address it. The employee improved for a period of time, but slipped again. Now, your boss has noticed, which questions your leadership. You do not want to terminate this employee because you know the value of this person and their work, and you trust and respect this employee. However, you are starting to look bad.

It is time to take action, so you schedule a meeting with the employee.

Part One: Considering the course materials for this week, discuss your strategy for the meeting, including:

  • What you will do to make your point clear and candid during the conversation.
  • How you will remove your own personal emotion from the conversation while still maintaining empathy and trust with the employee.
  • What techniques you will employ to build effective working relationships, and why you would choose these techniques.

Part Two: Write a brief dialogue recording the conversation between you and this employee that demonstrates your use of the strategies outlined above. Include at least 4 interchanges between you and them.

Post your initial response by Wednesday, midnight of your time zone, and reply to at least 2 of your classmates’ initial posts by Sunday, midnight of your time zone.​

1st peer to respond to

Hello everyone,

This is a great discussion, difficult conversations. That is because there are conversations that I need to have but will avoid them because its difficult. With that known I enjoyed reading the different articles for this week. 

Candid conversations are ideal as it leaves nothing to the imagination after a meeting. It removes the guess work for the individuals involved. Before the meeting with my colleague I would have a moment of self-reflection. This is important to ensure that I am not taking any baggage or hindrances into the meeting. These can create barriers before the meeting begin. I would be clear in how I am viewing the individual and verify my exact feeling(s) and be prepared to remove my feeling(s) during my self-reflection that can cause negative results. The one feeling I would be sure to exemplify is empathy. Being empathetic will allow my colleague to see that I am identifying with their emotion. And it also let’s him/her see I value how they are feeling. Next, I would reflect on what could possibly make me a bad listener, both verbally and nonverbally. Lastly, I would notate what needs to be addressed. After the list has been made, I would then think about how I can inspire, motivate, and build a stronger tie to aide in a better relationship with my co-worker and increased workload output results. Building an effective relationship is important. The list includes 15 ways to build better relationships. I chose my top 5 from the list. It would require me to 1) recognize different communication styles, 2) notice the deeper message, 3) deal with problems head on, 4) don’t over think my colleagues intentions, and 5) be more self aware. These were my top 5 because I viewed the list and saw some on the list that I was familiar with and/or was already in practice. In an effort for things to get better I need to realize where the improvement needs to be made. That may also require me to activate the areas on the list where I was not as strong hence, doing things differently. 

Meeting Dialogue-Meeting Date and Time: Thursday, January 7, 2021 @ 10A

Day before meeting complete a self reflection and improve needed items (check accuracy  of improvements checklist with reputable articles and immediate manager, if needed)

Day of meeting in conference room 15 minutes ahead of time, 10 minutes later in walks Monica

Me: Good morning Monica, how are you today? (smile and pause for response)

Monica: I am well thank you (seems relaxed)

Me: I saw Bridge is now a freshmen in college. Its hard to believe so are my twins. (maintaining personal space with great eye contact)

Monica: Yes, time has flown by. I have to look at photos to remember their 1st bday

Me: I do the same. It seems as though we were dropping them of to daycare last year..lol Are you ready to begin our meeting?

Monica: Yes, let’s do it.

Me: Great. I printed your call log and documentations to be sure we are looking at the same areas for improvement. I see during the last week in December where you increased your documentation on the calls made to vendors and follow-up with the warehouse. That’s is great! I appreciate the dedication you made to improving. That let’s us both see, you can do this! As we look at Monday, January 4th, the calls and documentations spiraled downhill. After you’ve documented, an email and/or should be sent to the warehouse to replenish the items that the vendors are requesting.

Monica: Thank you. You do know, Greg in the warehouse never responds to his emails. I mean I tried calling him before Christmas and he tells me to call back after lunch because he is short of staff and packing boxes. That was rude of Gregg and I really don’t care to speak with him anymore. He hardly gave me the chance to complete my sentence.

Me: Maintaining space, facial expressions in tune with conversation, and actively listening. I hear what your saying. I would like for everyone to improve their level of communication. I would more information on what took place between you and Greg, please include date and time. I would like to get this taken care of quickly. Our company is expanding and roles may increase the amount of communication we have with everyone here. Tell me, what can we do to make  the connection between administrative and the warehouse more effective? Develop your list of four items. I will ask the same of Greg.

Monica: I will get my list to you within before lunch. I appreciate you listening. Greg really isn’t a bad person but he does come off rude at times.

Me: We will all work together to take this company to the next level. Thank you for committing to this meeting. 

I did not over think Monica’s intentions. Although, it could’ve been viewed as though she was preoccupied. The reason why she was not completing her work was because she felt insulted. I was fully engaged while empathizing with what Monica had to say. Her ability to point fingers was noted. She will need a one-on-one with making sure she reports issues immediately so it won’t spill over into her performance. 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2020/03/03/15-ways-to-build-better-co-worker-relationships-for-a-more-positive-workplace/?sh=309da0f36e71
https://www.fastcompany.com/90293558/6-reasons-why-youre-a-bad-listener-and-how-to-change-it
https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/how-toxic-is-your-body-language-exactly-quite-toxic-if-you-do-these-4-things.html
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/328644
https://smallbusiness.chron.com/first-impressions-business-etiquette-2908.html
https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/how-smart-people-ask-great-questions-and-get-great-answers.html

2nd classmate to respond to

Good evening Professor Leighton-Lucas and class,

Relationships with employees, whether subordinates or otherwise, are very important and fragile. One adverse action or word could cause the relationship to go sour.  You can damage your career and work relationships by your actions and the behaviors you exhibit with co-workers at work (Heathfield, 1). It is also essential to be candid with an employee from the early stages of interviewing. They should know what the expectations are and what is requested of them. There should be a clear understanding of the employee’s role and their acting supervisor/manager. The relationship starts before the employee comes on board, and the onboarding process solidifies the expectations and influences the vibe of how the relationship will be going forward.

For me to be candid in a conversation, I first should be self-aware of my social skills and how I communicate. I want to be constructive, helpful, and curious about the situation.  The only way this employee will speak freely is if they feel comfortable talking to me without embarrassment, fear of repercussions, and know that I have led by example. During our conversation, I would show candor and be clear with the employees’ roles and responsibilities and how they live up to those expectations with production numbers or any reports available that would show the work.  Using straightforward language includes relevant examples; the calling card of dishonest talk is flowery or ambiguous language (Hain, 3).

I would struggle to remove my personal feelings from the conversation simply because I internalize things sometimes and place myself in the other person’s shoes. I would be patient and allow the conversation to flow and listen. If the discussion seems to head in a direction where it will get emotional, I will reroute the conversation.  I would try planning out the conversation ahead of time to control the clarity and empathy. Emotional complex exchanges require planning with clarity, compassion, and forethought, helping to achieve a smoother conversation (Meyer, 2). Even though every scenario would be challenging to prepare for, I would do as much planning as possible. I would ensure that I know the facts but still be prepared to hear details that I have never heard before.

 Building relationships are essential to our daily lives, not only in business or in the workplace. For one, I do not feel confident speaking or working with someone that I do not trust. Building trust is a technique I would use to get to know my co-workers/teams by having an open-door policy. Leading by example, exemplifying effective communication, and listening are also techniques that I would use. I always want to be a resource and a voice for those who do not have one. Showing empathy and letting the team know that I am human and do not operate without emotion. As I stated early on, building trust does not only start when a person is hired but also when they are interviewing. Responding to questions and emails open and honestly and building that rapport beforehand helps to build relationships.

 1. Heathfield, S. M. (2019, September 30). Effective Interpersonal Relationships Are Key to Success. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/developing-effective-work-relationships-1919386

2. Meyer, E. H. (2017, February 7). Curbing Emotions During Difficult Conversations. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from https://www.higheredjobs.com/articles/articleDisplay.cfm?ID=1188

 3. Hain, R. (2017, April 21). A Road Map to Candid Work Conversations. Retrieved January 11, 2021, from https://www.serviampartners.com/a-road-map-to-candid-work-conversations/#:~:text=Candid%20conversations%20are%20best%20served,is%20flowery%20or%20ambiguous%20language.

Part 2: Dialogue

The discussion with this employee would be in a private meeting room. I will prepare beforehand to eliminate any hostility or anger while showing the employee that I am here and want to understand what caused such a decline in their productivity. I would also minimize my non-verbal communication as not to put the employee in defense mode.

Laquita (me):

Thank you for meeting with me today. I want us to catch up on what has been going on since our last conversation. You are a valued member of the team, and I appreciate all your hard work. Management and I are concerned about the decline in your performance lately, and I wanted to take some time to discuss any issues or concerns you have and offer my support and assistance.

Tamika (employee):

Thank you, Mrs. Mitchell. I appreciate your willingness to listen and help me. A lot has happened since we last spoke. My son is now attending virtual school from home, and I must assist and monitor him daily to ensure that he is correctly completing and turning in his work as needed. I have struggled with my work-life balance and have fallen behind on my work responsibilities.  Since we are working from home now, there is an increase in Zoom meetings where as before, we could walk up to one another in the office and have a discussion.

Laquita (me):

I certainly understand the issues that you have discussed with me today. We all have had to readjust how we conduct business and our home to accommodate these changes with working from home. The most important thing is that you communicate whatever issues you have to me to work towards a solution.  When one employee is not holding up their end of the bargain, we are a team; it affects the entire team and not only one person.

Tamika (employee):

I understand, but I did not feel the company would support the changes that I need to make with having a flexible schedule and allowing me to take mid-day breaks to assist my son. It is a lot to ask, and management has not always been accommodating to other past employees that had similar issues. Management plays favorites with who they allow to do what. Even though I was a top performer, I was not part of the in-crowd, so I did not have the same luxuries.

Laquita (me):

I apologize that you feel that way; I have always tried to treat all employees equally and provide the support needed to be successful as a team. I will make it a point to improve upon those areas of providing more support and ensuring that everyone has a voice. What is it that you need to ensure your productivity increases to the standards we have set previously?

Tamika (employee):

I want to adjust my schedule to work more hours after my son gets out of school. I would still work during his school hours but will work until 7:00 p.m. each night to complete any needed tasks. When I have a scheduled meeting, I will ask if a team member could fill me in if I am unable to attend. I appreciate you working with me and adjusting my schedule.

Laquita (me):

You are more than welcome. You are a valued member of o

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