How to Manage Emotions in Difficult Conversations

As we approach the end of the financial year, companies are gearing up for performance reviews to evaluate their employees’ progress and plan for the year ahead. However, these reviews can be a source of stress for both managers and employees, often resulting in difficult conversations.

At TalentCode HR, we understand the importance of managing emotions during these conversations. Here are some tips to help you navigate these discussions successfully:

A) Prepare in advance

Preparing in advance is crucial, as it allows you to review the employee’s performance throughout the year and come up with specific examples to share. Additionally, anticipating potential areas of conflict and preparing responses can help you stay in control of the conversation.

B) Create a safe space

Creating a safe and comfortable environment is also essential. It’s important to acknowledge the discomfort that can come with discussing performance issues and express your desire to have an open and honest conversation. This approach sets the tone for a productive discussion that focuses on improvement and growth.

C) Use active listening

Active listening is a vital skill to use during difficult conversations. It involves fully concentrating on what the other person is saying and giving them your undivided attention. Showing empathy and understanding while maintaining a professional demeanour is key to making the employee feel heard and valued.

D) Manage your emotions

Managing your emotions during these conversations is critical. Emotions are natural, but it’s crucial to remain professional and stay calm, even if the conversation becomes heated. Remember that the purpose of the conversation is to provide constructive feedback and support the employee’s growth, not to assign blame.

E) Follow up

Following up with the employee after the conversation is crucial. It ensures they have a clear understanding of the feedback provided and the resources and support needed to improve their performance.

Difficult conversations during performance reviews can be challenging, but they are essential for growth and development. By following these tips from TalentCode HR, you can manage emotions and have productive conversations. Creating a safe space, using active listening, and managing emotions can help you provide constructive feedback and support your employees’ growth.

Empower your people leaders to succeed in navigating these difficult conversations with the help of TalentCode HR. Our team is always available to provide assistance and support. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1300 559 585 for a consultation.