Ever been in the unfortunate position of tackling the "difficult conversation" with an employee? The sweaty palms and the uncontrollable tick under your left eye start as soon as they walk in the room. There is nothing queerer than folk and in the workplace there will always be personality clashes and difficult situations.
Difficult conversations have to happen so that you can retain harmony and productivity of your workplace. Issues that are left to fester will become unmanageable. Trust and honestly are crucial in your working relationship and if, as an employer you work to achieve this with your employees you will reap the benefits.
How you approach the employee can fan the flames or calm the situation. You must remember it is not about who is right or wrong, it is about agreement on the right way forward.
Losing your temper or shouting means you can't hear what they have to say. If you remain calm they are more likely to open up and explain what is really bothering them. Sometimes people just want to be heard, they are not looking for a resolution they just want to know that someone is interested in what they have to say.
There is nothing worse than someone telling you they know exactly how you feel; they don't, no one can know exactly how you feel so let them speak first and listen. I like to believe that most people are not out to be difficult, try and understand what is causing them to behave in this manner.
Explain how the situation is affecting other employees or the business, be factual. They may be so caught up in their own issues that they have forgotten about the effects they may be having elsewhere. Remind them that their actions have consequences.
Holding a grudge is not a pleasant trait in anyone, so if a colleague has made a mistake or not completed something on time then get your point across and then let go!
Sometimes we get led astray by the conversation, remember what it important and don't get caught into a blame response. Establish what you both want and what will help you both move forward in a constructive manner.
Remember, difficult conversations are a chance for you to turn something unconstructive into something encouraging.