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Develop your Effective Team Communication Skills in Denver. One of the most common requests we get is to help teams develop more effective communication skills. Here are 4 tips to handling difficult conversations.

Effective Team Communication Skills in Denver: Tips for Handling Difficult Conversations – part 1

If you are stuck trying to achieve a result, chances are there is a difficult conversation to be had. 

In the book, Crucial Conversations, the authors spent 25 years researching successful communicators. Their findings? The most successful communicators have a skill set to deal effectively with critical conversations. Here are some skills to jump start you on your way to more effective team communication skills in Denver and beyond.

 1. Don’t let things stack up. Many of the companies we work with have what we call “elephants in the boardroom.” These are issues that have gone unaddressed and are impacting communication and decision making. Decide what is important enough to address, and then commit to not letting issues fester.

 2. Be honest about your role in the breakdown or conflict. It seems to be human nature to want the “other” person to change. How is that working for you? Probably not too well. Unfortunately, we all have to start with looking in the mirror. What is your part in the conflict? Where have you not been flexible? Where are you attached to being right? Do some self-reflection and ask yourself – what else is possible? If you can ask yourself “yes, and” questions instead of “either, or” questions, you expand your capacity for creative solutions.

3. Notice when you are and are NOT in Dialogue. Dialogue requires a free flow of ideas between two people. Dialogue is characterized by sharing ideas, perspectives and a curiosity about other points of view. When you or the other is jockeying for your idea to be the “right” one, or you notice a tightening in your stomach or someone has stopped listening, you are no longer in dialogue, you are moving quickly towards a break down and a power struggle. Name this – it looks like we are moving out of dialogue. What is important here? Are we really hearing each other?

4. Creating safety. When a difficult conversation turns sour it is likely because one or the other person does not feel safe. There are two things necessary for safety: 1. That you care about each others best interests and goals (mutual purpose) and 2. that you actually care about each other (mutual respect). When people believe that both of these things are present, they can relax and listen. When one of these things feels threatened, safety is impacted. So, you have to pay attention to your own intention and make sure that you are open to the other person’s goals and care about what they are saying. If you are just coming from your own self-interest, the conversation probably won’t go well.

 Look for part 2 of crucial conversations tips next month!

We do coaching and training with effective team communication skills in Denver and Colorado.  Please contact us if we can be of service.

For your growth,

Jeannie Gunter, MA
Founder, Transformative Training
303 653-3097
Jeannie Gunter, MA

Jeannie Gunter, MA

Founder, Transformative Solutions

303 653-3097

Jeannie works with a wide variety of clients to help them increase their team effectiveness and leadership capacity in their teams. She has worked both nationally and internationally as an organizational consultant, facilitator, speaker and wilderness guide.

With a strong background in group dynamics, over the past 20 years Jeannie has guided hundreds of teams in a wide variety of organizations to successful outcomes in team, personal and professional development.


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