Awkward Work Conversations

5 Mins

>> Your work isn’t up to scratch.

>> I can’t work with them anymore.

>> Can I have a pay rise?

Erm, awkward.

Sometimes we must have tough conversations at work. For many of us, it’s a minefield of overthinking and even avoiding it at all costs and hunting for distract...ooh, is that Harry Styles over there?!

For others, they have no qualms and just dive in, potentially stamping all over employment law in the process.

In the US, a boss fired 900 staff at once over Zoom just before Christmas. That’s enough to get any employment lawyer’s attention.

Sometimes it’s obvious when someone is getting it spectacularly wrong. But getting hard conversations right isn’t always easy.

As legal recruitment experts, we know the importance of clear, upfront communication.

Here are some tips we think could help:

>> Think about timing

No-one wants to feel ambushed with a performance review at 9am on a Monday straight after an absence or at 6pm on a Friday after a hectic week.

>> Prepare

Whether you’re asking for more money, letting someone go, or making changes some won’t like - make sure you gather relevant information, check rules and regulations, and plan what you say.

>> Be clear and direct

Focus on solutions and outcomes and avoid any confusion over what the issues are and how they should be dealt with.

>> Work out who says it

Make sure the right people are in the conversation, otherwise it could easily go wrong or lead to yet another awkward chat.

Written by Jason Connolly