Bluepoint Leadership Development


Difficult Conversation Barriers Framework

A difficult conversation is any conversation where the emotional outcome is unknown and uncertain. For example:

  • Apologizing to a coworker about how you spoke to them
  • Delivering tough news up or across the organization
  • Firing or laying off someone
  • Announcing budget cuts
  • Speaking up in a meeting when you would prefer to remain quiet

All these conversations can create a negative emotional reaction, so we may desire to avoid them altogether. However, as leaders, these are the types of conversations that build trust, shape our values, and reveal our character.

Identify a difficult conversation with a team member, colleague or your manager you have been avoiding. Use the five steps below to identify your barriers to having this conversation. Once completed, you should have a better idea of what’s holding you back, as well as a renewed committment to taking action.

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