I am a happy and positive person and I get on with people.
Although I dislike confrontation I don't avoid it at all costs and sometimes THAT thing happens that forces you to pull on your big girl pants and have that uncomfortable chat with THAT specific person.
It always astounds me how we still don't really know how to communicate with each other or articulate how we're feeling which means any difficult situations usually result in a shouting match and days of regret about how you reacted and wishing you could have changed the outcome.
A situation recently arose where I felt I was being professionally undermined, I tried to push the feeling away and listened to the little voices that were saying I was being to sensitive and not to worry about it, but I DID worry about it and I knew in my gut that I had to deal with it.
But how? I knew how I didn't want to approach it, not in an embarrassingly emotional way where you don't even get your point across.
The good thing was I had the weekend to think it over, and not in a hamster wheel style of worrying, replaying, worrying and replaying where no action is decided, but in a clear and concise manner.
This all sounded great in my head but I really didn't know where to start so I placed an SOS text to my friend Angela McDougal, I know about 3 Angela's so she is usually simply called "McDougal" and she is AMAZING! Everyone should have a McDougal in their life!
She made me aware of a conversation structuring technique called "TGROW" and it's so good I wanted to share it with everyone!
OK so before the conversation think about the structure it will have by following:
T: Topic. Both parties to agree on the topic that they will talk about. What it the main point of the conversation?
G: Goal. Agree on the goal that you want to achieve.
R: Reality. The reality of the situation of the situation. Each person will have their own perseption of the reality so they will have to discuss the present situation in detail and be specific.
O: Options. Brainstorm as many possible actions to move forward (I did this before I had the conversation so I was prepared). The important thing here is quantity NOT quality. Don't worry about how they would work or be implemented. You are being proactive by giving solutions.
W: Wrap up and when. The conversation must be converted into a decision of what action to take and the timescale of this action.
I have also noticed through conversations with friends that one reason people give for calling a meeting is because they feel another collegue is "incompetent", but before you take this perception personally it's important to know that competence is measured in three things: 1. Knowledge 2. Skills 3. Behaviour
It might be one element of your working style that is out of sync with the company or person but that can be worked on or they might actually be working incompetently.
All of this info definitely helped me take the emotional side out of the situation and come up with a clear and concise plan of action of how to move forward which ensured my positive and professional attitude remained intact. So next time you find yourself in an uncomfortable conversation TGROW it!
Hope it helps you as much as it helped me!