Figuring out how to say something difficult is one of the most stressful parts of work life. Though it’s part of building your career, you may find it difficult to deal with the hard questions, as there is the possibility that you may offend someone that can affect your professional reputation and relationships.
Here are four of the most difficult conversations you may need to deal with:
“I’m quitting.” At some point, most people dream of saying “I quit” as they walk out of a bad job. However, saying it is actually harder than it seems in the imagination. If you’ve been working at the same company for some time and need to break from it, it’s important to quit your post gracefully.
Keep it short and direct, as much as possible. It is normal to feel some regret, but leaving at the right time, and doing so respectfully, can be a great opportunity for you to find something better along the way.
“I’m firing you.” Firing an employee is one of the hardest things to do. It’s normal to feel awful.
However, if you are a manager, you need to be ready to face this situation. You can approach it by not letting the employee be blindsided. If the firing is performance-related, hopefully you’ve let the employee know there were problems well before the firing. If it’s the result of a downsizing, hopefully you’ve had the chance to provide warning. But firing someone is still one of the most difficult aspects of a leadership role, regardless of why it has to happen.
“I made a big mistake.” Everyone makes mistakes at work. But if the error was on a large scale, your job and reputation might be on the line. You have no choice but to come clean, regardless of whether it puts your career at risk.
It’s better to be honest.Be straightforward, and speak up quickly. Admit to what you have done, and explain what went wrong. Ensure that you’ve learned from your mistake and that it won’t happen again.
Encountering difficult situations at work is inevitable. That’s why knowing how to deal with them upfront,as a professional, is a skill everyone needs to develop.