Individual Reflection : Handling Difficult Conversation

This paper is my individual reflection on how to handle difficult conversations. We are faced with difficulty to transfer the message we want the other to understand and comply or support. Because of this complexity of communication barrier we end up in a conflict or a confrontation. When this happens we let go of the problem – forget it , avoid it, avoid being involved or ignore it. Learning two way conversation and certain strategies to handle a difficult conversation, is a step to better yourself in the way you voice out without any personal intent.
In our everyday lives whether professional or personal we always encounter a difficult conversation – conflict on one and confrontation on the other. Most in some cases goes for the best of intentions for the benefit or interest of the person or the company. But what makes it a difficult conversation is how you relay the message on board, how one decides to handle it, how you understand it, how your message is being understood by the other and whether to comply or give support.
My individual reflection for this is an incident that has occurred between two directors of the company whom are also the proprietors of the company – my mother and I. As much as my mother and I are the sole owners of the company, my late father left behind, I would like to use it in relation to this topic of difficult conversations in a professional setting. My mother and I have different ways of doing things and have different ideals when it comes to running a business. She is my superior as the Managing director of the company.

She is old fashioned in her approach to things and also does not read or write and I am kind of what I’ll like to describe as transforming. There was a situation that occurred when some of our clients were complaining about the quality of the TV sets in their rooms and how they didn’t like the idea of them having to pay that much money for a night in the hotel and have to watch a boxed TV instead of the new flat screen TV that were in vogue. I decided to have a meeting with my mother on this matter to explain the importance of upping our standards in terms of quality.
My mum found this statement from me demeaning and queried me that it’s not in my place to talk to her about such matters. I on hearing those exact words flamed up and attacked saying I had as much rights and power as her when it meant running of the company and as such my opinions as well as decisions matters whenever I decide to put them forth. Next thing I noticed was that our conversation became so heated and filled with argument that we weren’t even talking about the success of the business anymore but moved from away from its professional discussion to that of a personal confrontation.
I decided to stop talking about this because I noticed my mother wasn’t being receptive to anything I was saying at that moment, so I let the topic drop for that moment but went on to contact my aunt and explained to her my views on the issue and how difficult it was for my mother to see my view on the issue. This turned out to be a good idea as my aunt was able to relay my opinion concerning the company and its improvements and she helped to straightening out a lot of things also.
Using my aunt as an intermediary between my mother and I was effective as it was able to quell the discord we were having as well as relay my opinions on the pressing issue at hand at that moment in time. But as time goes by I sat and thought over things that I cannot be using my aunt as an intermediary all the time my mother and I are having an argument. I had to think of a more approachable way to rely my messages across to my mother without creating any misunderstanding. I realized that I needed to deliver the message towards thinking of it as a two-way learning conversation. (Christensen, 2011).
When I thought over our argument I realized I involved too much emotions and forgot about the company’s interest. In that I noticed how money, as well as emotions are factors that lead to difficult conversations as Christensen. K (2011). Moreover I also didn’t take into consideration the age difference, refinement of etiquette, difference of seeing things and also literateness.
I sat with my mother on a normal day and asked her “Mom, how did you understand when I told you we had to upgrade the quality of services we offer in the hotel?”, she said “Mariah, I am not stupid you know, I do not know how to read and write and that is not my fault because my parents couldn’t send me to school but I give you the opportunity and you benefitted to where you are today, and when you want to say something, talk to me in a manner you don’t have to be sarcastic. ” It took me a while to understand what she meant by me being sarcastic. I wondered whether my being straightforward telling her the truth was unacceptable or was it the way I said it.
As according to Amy & Diana I realized I had a personal motive conflict between my mother and I when there are better ways to voice it out calmly without involving any personal interest or have any personal intention whatsoever Moreover I remembered what my father told me once that in business don’t argue to win or to imply who is right or wrong. A problem or an unpleasant event has happened instead of sitting there and complaining and arguing what should and should not be done, take the professional actions to solve the problem if it benefits the company and everybody at the end. No loss occurred and incurred.
Well, if I had listened to my father I do not think I would end up having an argument with my mother and wasting time to solve the problem. Nevertheless, from this course I have learned from Amy & Diana to practice self – management “the ability to examine and transform the thoughts and feelings that hijack one’s ability to reason cally when conflicts heat up”, reflecting on spontaneous reactions – “once a conflict triggers an emotional reaction, reflecting can cool one’s own emotion down by turning the automatic “go” response into a more deliberate “know” response”, reframing and manage conversations.
Moreoevr according to Engels, he stated that when you deliver difficult messages you should avoid ordering/directing, warning/threatening, preaching/moralizing, advising/giving solutions, evaluating/blaming and interpreting/diagnosing. In which I realized I was having a rather ordering tone with my mother. Being that I am able to admit where I am having a problem with delivering my messages, from what I have learned I would be well prepared to most especially listen before I react and plan for a better conversation and find a more comfortable way in relaying my messages across.

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