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Conduct 3 conversations you hate

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Solid communication skills are critical to your success as a supervisor. However, even the savviest communicators dread awkward, tense or emotional conversations with employees.

Here’s how to effectively manage three conversations that you would rather avoid:

1. Dealing with poor behavior. When employees yell, gossip, bully and so on, you must address the behavior, and yet, you don’t want to treat employees like children. Still, don’t look the other way when employees misbehave. Meet with them privately to explain how their actions are affecting the workplace.

2. Addressing employee opposition. When you know that you are making the right decision and employees disagree with your choices, it is frustrating. As much as you would like to tell employees to just deal with it, don’t. Refrain from arguing or becoming defensive. Instead, explain why the change is necessary, and offer them an opportunity to share their concerns.

3. Reprimanding a friend. New supervisors—who went from co-worker to boss overnight—commonly struggle with this issue. If someone you call “friend” begins to slack or behaves in an inappropriate manner, you must address the behavior. If you ignore it, others will cry favoritism. Meet with the person to discuss the poor performance or behavior. Tell him that you must hold him to the same expectations that you hold everyone else.

— Adapted from “3 Difficult Conversations Every Leader Hates,” Sumi Krishnan, Nashville Business Journal,

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