Difficult conversations

Take a few minutes for this practical refresher on managing difficult conversations. It is for audit leaders and auditors alike. Everyone experiences difficult conversations and the tricks and tips to get through them are the same.

Difficult is a label that we put on things, if we choose to write opportunity instead, just think how much more rewarding and engaging those conversations could be.

Why is this important to me?

Some people are able to dodge difficult conversations their whole career. Auditors do not have that luxury. They cannot be avoided. The skills to manage them must be developed. As auditors we are often the bearers of uncomfortable truths or the generalist in a room full of subject matter experts.

Have we fully honed the skills for delivering findings, effecting change and garnering information?
Is too much time spent recovering relationships rather than celebrating the success of an audit?

We are going to take a little time to explore the power play of conversations and the role of self-talk. And also share tips to help turn those potentially stressful exchanges with stakeholders into opportunities for constructive dialogue.

Top tips

We have put together 10 top tips consolidated from a range of coaches and psychology experts worldwide thanks to the internet.

  1. Put yourself in the shoes of the other person: why should they trust what you are saying?
  2. Auditors are naturally curious: always approach discussions with an open mind, be prepared to adapt and be reasonable if their suggestion/alternative works.
  3. Be kind: conflict helps no-one in the workplace. Close conversations with compassion, preserve and build relationships.
  4. Plan the exchange as much as is practical: be confident, consider role play in a safe environment with colleagues who will be honest.
  5. Focus on the purpose: it is a professional not personal exchange. Using…