It should be stressed that effective communication skills are important for any person especially in the business setting or at the workplace. They ensure that joint agreement can be met and allow eliminating the possible misunderstanding. Moreover, communication is significant for both efficient management and followership since it promotes two-way feedback. The purpose of this paper is to review a difficult occurrence I have faced in my practice and to analyze the ways to avoid such situations in the future.
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One of the difficult face-to-face conversations occurred when I had to disseminate the results of staff performance appraisal to several employees. When starting the conversation with one of the individuals I was unaware of the cultural differences that influenced the way the results had to be presented. To be more precise, the person was European, and their business ethics requires that when delivering any information, it is significant, to begin with, positive points or to emphasize the strong traits of an individual. Being unaware of this peculiarity, I paid insufficient attention to the advantages this person brought to our company and stressed the aspects in his performance that had to be improved according to the appraisal results. The person was offended and considered that his performance was poor and the company did not value the diverse ideas he was able to bring. To resolve the situation, I started highlighting the importance of having a diverse workforce and the great contribution this person was able to make. Nevertheless, my conduct was ineffective as I was unable to change the situation for the better. This occurrence has adversely affected the performance of the team in which this individual was working, and the unit displayed a decrease in performance due to the weakened team spirit and morale.
Therefore, it can be assumed that the lack of knowledge of business ethics has influenced my efficiency as an administrator. I was able to conclude that it was essential to prepare in advance and investigate the possible differences that existed in different cultures and the ways they could affect certain business practices (Edmondson & Smith, 2006). As it turned out, in Europe, it is of paramount importance to pay particular attention to the positive aspects and then to switch to the negative ones. Besides, as stressed by Edmondson and Smith (2006), management must be capable of controlling relationship conflicts at the workplace since they are not always preventable due to the existing differences in perceptions, cognitive patterns, backgrounds, and so on. Moreover, it is important to comprehend which types of conflict situations should be discussed and which of them should be disregarded (Edmondson & Smith, 2006). This delineation will enable making decisions that are more rational and feasible. Moreover, it will allow keeping the morale and mutual respect at a high level.
Preparing for Difficult Conversation
To prepare for similar situations and to avoid conflict escalation, I will determine in advance the possible differences in backgrounds that might affect the productivity of the discussion and pay particular attention to critical peculiarities of a certain business setting. In general, I will not allow interpersonal attributions to interfere with the conversation (Edmondson & Smith, 2006). Moreover, it if appears despite the efforts made, I will address it straight away to obviate the suppression of negative perceptions from the side of co-workers and to avoid the recurrence of conflict.
Thus, it can be concluded that conflicts or disagreements are not always avoidable, especially in terms of interpersonal communication. Nevertheless, a business setting requires co-workers to be able to find the common language effectively using communicational strategies aimed at regulating contradiction between people. The role of managers in such occurrences is to strive for a constructive flow of discussion and to eliminate or minimize the consequences of difficult conversations while emphasizing the joint effort towards meeting organizational objectives rather than personal ones.
Edmondson, A., & Smith, D. (2006). Too hot to handle? How to manage relationship conflict. California Management Review, 49(1), 6-31.