Leadership Tip

How to react when a conversation heats up

Conversation is challenging enough at times. When it gets heated, conversation can seem impossible. When a conversation turns negative, it’s helpful to have a repertoire of replies at your fingertips. Consider these options:

  1. Reframe. Cast the issue in a different light. If someone says, “I don’t want to fight about this,” a useful reframe is, "This is a debate, certainly not a fight."
     
  2. Rephrase. Rather than letting offensive words pass, suggest replacements. If someone accuses you of coming on too strongly in a meeting, you might reply, "I was passionate." If you’re described as stubborn, you could say, "I’m very determined when something is important to a successful effort."
     
  3. Revisit. If you’ve had positive interactions with the person in the past, remind them of their ability to find common ground: "We have a good track record of working together. No reason to change that now."
     
  4. Restate. Give people a chance to reconsider and alter what was said: "Surely there’s another way to say that."

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our acclaimed 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted from 7 Things to Say When a Conversation Turns Negative by Kathleen Kelley Reardon. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.

Subscribe

Free weekly email on things you didn't know last week with links to articles on leadership excellence. To view previous editions click here.


Learn how to lead effectively

Gleaned from wisdom acquired by working with hundreds of highly successful leaders from the world of business, media and sport, our workshops are fortified with practical tips to help you better lead yourself, your team and your business.

Read More

Leadership Articles

10 ways to boost your resilience

Resilience is about being able to cope with tough situations and bounce back from difficult experiences. It can help us better deal with traumatic events or times of considerable stress. It doesn’t mean we’ll never face problems again or that we’ll be... read more

10 remarkable habits to instantly spark a relationship with anyone

The secret of success in business and in life is to build strong relationships with others. The faster you build them, the more success you will find. Success in business - and in life - is all about building relationships and trust. When you're in... read more

10 actions for mastering leadership

The key to truly effective leadership lies in mastering a wide range of skills from implementing and administering process to inspiring others to achieve excellence. To be an effective leader you need to make the most of opportunities to learn to lead,... read more

Leadership Tips

How to decline a meeting invitation without burning bridges

There it is in your inbox: an invite to a meeting you really don’t want to attend. Maybe it’s shoehorned into one of the few remaining open spaces in your calendar. Or maybe it’s for a time that’s already booked, and now you’re left to decide whom to... read more

How to increase team motivation

Teams are the way that most companies get important work done. When you combine the energy, knowledge, and skills of a motivated group of people, then you and your team can accomplish anything you set your minds to. Here are five ways to increase... read more

How to overcome your reluctance to negotiate your salary

Negotiating your salary can reap huge long-term benefits. But most of us are reluctant to try. Here are some common excuses and how to overcome them: What if they get upset with me for asking? To avoid potential backlash, invest extra... read more