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Handling Tough Conversations - Constructively

Published on 05 Mar 2019

We share some frameworks, language, tips and techniques to handle difficult conversations in a constructive way. Often, people want to ‘do Constructive’ but just don’t know how. These tips will help get you started and stop avoiding those difficult conversations.

Listen to our Discussion on the Culture Bites Podcast:

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Key Takeaways from This Episode:



How do you show up? What is the mindset you’re taking into these conversations with you? Take a constructive mindset of curiosity, wanting to achieve an outcome.


Use the four Constructive Styles to frame up the discussion: Achievement, Self-Actualising, Humanistic-Encouraging, and Affiliative.

Achievement: What’s the Goal?

Find the common ground or common goal that we can both buy into. It’s a frame up for the discussion that makes it clear where we are going and what we are trying to accomplish. Go to the heart of the matter.

Self-Actualising: Why is it Important to me?

Sometimes people forget about inserting themselves into the conversation and stay too objective. Explaining why this conversation matters to you creates a personal connection for why it matters. It dials up other’s empathy – “I need your support”.

Humanistic-Encouraging:  How can I help you?

Unconditional positive regard for the other person. This is where you can bring curiousness in. Question out of curiosity not judgement. This is where coaching type conversations come in. Truly listen to what they have to say.

Affiliative: How can we address it together?

“What do you need from me? This is what I need from you.” It’s a ‘we’ goal. What support do they need to be successful?  

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