So much has been written for leaders and managers, team leaders and organisational heads – and rightly so, as there is a huge leadership skills gap in the world. Very little, however, has been written for employees in terms of assisting them with developing the skills needed to enjoy relational effectiveness. So, this post is for you – the employee – to enable you conversationally to make your work relationships a whole lot more productive.

We all seem to be under pressure at work – there is so much that needs to be done, there are ever-increasing demands from customers, there are plenty of deadlines to meet, etc. These activities and tasks, however, are fairly normal pressures, but what if we have to deal with unwarranted pressures – unnecessary emotional pressure (or even deliberate attacks) exerted by our respective bosses or colleagues? These confrontations or other emotional incidents can be painful and make the experience of work an unpleasant pursuit.

Finding solutions to the many relational issues that we encounter when interacting with colleagues and our boss is not easy, but part of the answer, however, lies in our ability to create constructive conversations with the people in question. We need to attempt to demystify a number of typical confrontational situations and provide a structure for an assertive conversation to solve the issue.

We should note the following here I believe – the suggested conversations are not designed for us to get our own back or be “one-up” in the relationship. We structure a conversation well so as to grow the relationship, develop appropriate doses of respect and build into the possible sustainability of the relationship. Our motives must be pure and clear, otherwise any number of techniques or structured conversations won’t work.

One final thought – as the purpose here is to provide conversational solutions to commonly experienced emotional confrontations, there is no specific need to go into the psychology behind why people do what they do. We simply need to find a structured way of dealing with each situation, thus hopefully providing a conversational solution to the issues that we frequently face in relationships in the workplace. It does require you taking responsibility for the situation, however, even though perhaps not your fault – you can’t wait for others to solve the issue for you.

Practise to develop conversational confidence!

For more information on how to structure these conversations effectively, the book “How do I address my boss when…?” provides the process –

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