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How To Handle Awkward Work Conversations

Nobody enjoys initiating a conversation on a topic that has the potential to become awkward, least of all me. I’m the type of person that will put off having these types of conversations in hopes that the problem will go away. It never does. This attitude is even worse however when you apply it to work conversations. There will eventually come a time when you must have that awkward, touchy work conversation with your boss, coworker, friend, whoever. Here are some tips on how to handle the conversation so you are not left completely mortified and or uncomfortable.

Before actually bringing up your issue or problem with someone at work, make sure to plan your conversation beforehand so it does not end up turning into an argument. When speaking to the other person about their poor performance, or a disagreement, or their attitude at work, make sure to choose your words carefully and never come off as accusatory. This will solve nothing and just escalate a simple work conversation into an argument. Be sure to present only the facts, not opinions and try to get an actual dialogue going to see if a mutual solution can be agreed upon.

One big mistake that a majority of those in the workforce make when having a work conversation that has the potential to be awkward is delaying the conversation. I realize it is easier to just ignore a problem and hope it goes away on it’s own, but it almost never does so having that touchy work conversation earlier is better in the long run. Another is going into the conversation assuming you have all the facts and being emotionally caught up in what you wish the result of the conversation to be. Go into a touchy work conversation prepared to present your case with facts, not opinions and be ready to engage in a dialogue. Maybe your coworker or boss have a completely different view than you concerning a particular situation. This is the time to talk it out and see where the problem lies. Running only on emotions is unprofessional and non-conducive to the type of conversations had in the workplace.

Like in any other area in life, touchy, awkward situations come up at work sometimes and they must be dealt with. Fortunately it just takes a little bit of practice and the right communication skills and those conversations can flow smoothly.

IMAGE: Courtesy of SheKnows

Stephanie Becerra

Stephanie Becerra is a Chicago native. She spent a couple of years working in social services before she realized that her passion was in writing. She is now writing full-time. When she has free time she enjoys reading and also listening to records on her dusty record player.