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  • Writer's pictureCris Gladly

What To Do AFTER Having A Difficult Conversation At Work

Situations at work can get really AWKWARD sometimes, yes?

After a difficult conversation ends -- even when it ends well -- it's natural to want to get the heck out of there ASAP ... away from the tension, uncomfortableness, and intense effort. Totally understandable.

The only problem is -- the bridge you just started to build can quickly fall apart if you don't follow up (soon and appropriately) with the other person/people involved.

Yes, definitely allow time for everyone to step away, blow off steam and recalibrate their energy, but BEFORE you walk away, make a plan re: how and when you will circle back to each other to ensure everyone is TRULY on the same page about:

(a) decisions/agreements made

(b) next steps

(c) individual responsibilities tied to this outcome

(d) any relevant deadlines.

It can also help heal divides to simply say "thank you" to the other person/people for hanging in there and working through the tension to try to get to real understanding. After all, if you found the process upsetting or exhausting, they likely did, too!

So, hooray! Great job having the difficult conversation. Ten Emotional Intelligence points for you!! Just make sure you follow up with those involved to ensure things go as smooth as possible moving forward. Here's a great resource for more info:

[IMAGE: Michael Waraksa from NY Times article, 2016]

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