Years ago, I worked with a staffing agency. Each day, I interviewed potential employees, many of whom had difficulty finding stable employment for a variety of reasons. I also trained these individuals, counseled them while they were on assignment, and, when it was warranted, terminated their employment. The job was not without its perks, though difficult conversations were an every day reality. Some of the actual conversations that occurred while I was on this job were amongst the most difficult I will likely face in my life:
One of the most difficult parts of a job, any job, is handling difficult conversations. These conversations could be with angry customers, with employees who are not reaching their full potential, or any number of situations that are faced each and every day that can cause discomfort for all parties."Please don't fire me. My sister just died and I have to support her children.""If I don't get a job today, I am coming back here with a baseball bat and you are going into the hospital.""I need a temporary office worker. I only want to hire a white woman.""By the way, I didn't put it on my application, but I killed my sister when I was 14. I'm not sure if it will show in my record since I was a minor."
For some, it is natural to confront a challenging conversation with excuse making, laying blame, or, in extreme cases, even fabricating stories to placate the person on the other end of the dialog. This helps no one, does nothing to build trust, and only delays an inevitable backlash. By staying calm and responding with honest words and action, even the most challenging conversations can be handled effectively.
Naturally, it takes a great deal of practice to master the art of communicating effectively when faced with difficult circumstances, which is why Molloy Business Development has developed the Handling Challenging Conversations Program. This program instructs companies and individuals on how to build confidence when faced with these challenges and how to address concerns effectively. And because the Molloy program is implemented concurrent to the work day and in real time, employees can begin using the methodology immediately.