HR Masterclasses: tackle how to approach those difficult conversations

HR Masterclasses:  tackle how to approach those difficult conversations

Tackling difficult conversations with staff is one of the most commonly cited problems of managing employees– and now a free masterclass is being offered to help managers confront those tricky dialogues.

Whether it’s discussing sensitive matters, delivering bad news, addressing poor performance or conduct, or offering support to an employee experiencing personal issues, difficult conversations can often take managers outside of their comfort zone. Yet avoiding having the conversation can simply allow a situation to deteriorate, whilst doing it wrong can have serious HR consequences.

‘Difficult Conversations’ is the latest in a series of HR masterclasses presented by the HR team at Lovewell Blake, with sessions taking place in Lowestoft on 2nd April and Norwich on 4th April. HR consultants Vicky Webber and Claire Moore will outline the practical steps which will help managers handle these conversations with confidence.

“The potential for embarrassment or conflict can often lead to managers shying away from confronting difficult issues with staff,” said Vicky Webber.

“Whether it’s worrying about upsetting people, not knowing how to tackle a delicate subject, or being concerned about the HR implications of doing it wrong, too often managers don’t feel able to have those dialogues that they know they need to have within the workplace.

“And yet with the right approach and preparation, it is perfectly possible to tackle difficult issues head-on, which has the added bonus of finding a solution before the problem becomes even bigger.

“Often the thought of having that conversation is a lot worse than the conversation itself. Managers are often surprised that when they do tackle an issue, the staff member is receptive to talking about it, and may even be relieved that their manager has brought it up – but it’s vital to do it in the right way.”

The breakfast-time masterclasses will look at what constitutes a difficult conversation and why it is important to tackle them; how to be fully prepared for such dialogues; and effective communication techniques to ensure such conversations are constructive.

The ‘Difficult Conversations’ HR masterclasses take place on Tuesday 2nd April at Lovewell Blake’s Lowestoft offices, and Thursday 4th April at their Norwich offices. Both masterclasses start at 7.45am, with a buffet breakfast provided. Attendance is free, but places must be reserved in advance. 

Photo: Claire Moore, Lovewell Blake, HR consultant

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