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How to Handle Difficult Conversations

Managers need to use communication skills to have difficult conversations – to communicate bad news or unpopular decisions, or to reveal something uncomfortable, awkward, embarrassing, or even hurtful.

Approaching a difficult conversation however – whether it's with a direct report, colleague, or manager – can provoke feelings of anxiety and discomfort.


It requires a solid understanding of what constitutes a difficult conversation and a firm grasp of how to prepare for it in order to turn what normally represents a difficult encounter into a positive experience.

Having a difficult conversation

Common Challenges

Preparing a difficult conversation

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