Uncomfortable Conversations



Let’s be honest. Sometimes uncomfortable conversations need to happen at work. Whether it’s correcting someone’s performance, handing in your resignation, or blowing the whistle on discriminatory behavior, people can get anxious, defensive, or belligerent when specific topics arise. But to make real change in the organization, those uncomfortable conversations have to take place.

I’m an odd duck, though. I sometimes look forward to these awkward conversations because it relieves pressure on situations that have become a crisis. I look forward to easing tensions or finding solutions to the problem during the conversation.

For instance, one of my favorite uncomfortable conversations is asking for a raise. I do my homework, show my accomplishments, research my role’s market value, and outline why a raise is in order. Because I’m confident in my reasons for requesting a raise, I have the power in the conversation. If my employer doesn’t have a good reason for declining a raise, I know my services are no longer valued, and I don’t have any growth potential within the organization. That’s a clear sign that it is time for me to start looking elsewhere for employment.

Do you have a favorite uncomfortable work conversation?

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