Difficult Conversations – are you ready?

Posted on: 17 August 2021 by Denise Chilton (Length: 316 words - Read time: 2 minutes) in Blog posts

Denise Chilton

Managing professional relationships, particularly the one you have with your manager, can at times feel challenging.

Editors note: Ahead of the National Postdoc Conference 2021 on 24 September, we will be publishing a series of blog posts that reflect some of the sessions that will be on offer for researchers. In this post we hear from Denise Chilton about how to have a difficult conversation with your manager.

When something feels like it isn’t quite working out in the relationship you have with the person who manages you then the place, I always help the individual explore first is how the communication is. 

Very often here lies the answer. “I want to give my manager some feedback and I know it is going to be difficult” “I don’t feel confident enough to say what I really think ”  “ What if I lose my job” Dramatic, I know  however when we are faced with having a difficult conversation then most of us are really great at imaging the worst and then talking ourselves out of it and staying quiet.

Our How to Have a Difficult Conversation with your Manager session taking place as part of National Post Doc Conference on 24 September is full of top tips on how to prepare not only what to say but how to say it while at the same time offering some advice on how you can prepare yourself.

Difficult conversations are made even more difficult if you feel stressed out or anxious. It doesn’t matter how prepared you so it’s a really good idea to have some helpful techniques to get yourself ready and in the right mindset before you have the conversation.

Right time right place is essential. Making sure the environment is right, the time is set aside and in a place that you are unlikely to get interrupted or overhead. A place that is neutral to you both can be helpful.  And what happens if face to face is not an option how do these principles apply when work when working virtually? Well to find out the answers out to that question you need to come along to the session. Look forward to seeing you on 24 September. Register for this session.

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About the author

Denise Chilton is a career development and leadership coach and facilitator. She has been supporting researchers and the academic community at the University of Liverpool for over 10 years so knows only too well the many challenges researchers face in this current climate of change.


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