Once you’ve had a difficult conversation, it’s tempting to think your job is done, but the best communicators know the high-pressure conversation is not the end of the story.
If you want to maintain your relationship with a person, it’s important you continue to communicate with them regularly and follow up after a difficult conversation has been had.
Make an effort to check in with them in the days and weeks afterwards when the pressure drops off.
If your conversation was about a restructure or redundancy, check to see how they’re travelling and whether there’s any support you can give.
If the conversation was about poor performance or an expected change in behaviour, see how they’re going at putting changes in place.
It’s also important to seek out conversations with the person that aren’t fraught – ask them about their family, talk footy, or anything else that shows you care about them as a person.
This effort to maintain communication will allow you both to move on or ask further questions; demonstrates your warmth and maturity as a leader; and will make the next difficult conversation that much easier, because you’ve shown you can communicate effectively under pressure.
🤔 How do you maintain communication and a positive relationship after a difficult conversation?