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Negotiations: tricky conversations


All managers sometimes have to have difficult conversations with people working under them. What is the best way to give negative feedback?


Imagine you are unhappy with the behaviour of a member of your team. You have decided to raise the issue with this person and tell him or her that you would like to see an improvement. What words or phrases might be useful in this tricky conversation?


Now listen to a tricky conversation at work between a manager and an employee. Michelle has come to Sean complaining that she did not get a job recently. How does Sean react? As you listen, try to hear the phrases above.

Check understanding

Check your understanding by reading the script below:

Sean: Okay, well, I’m not going to get into a discussion about who deserved to get the job. Clearly, the person who was appointed was the right person for the job. What you need to do is look at your work and what you’re doing and where that’s taking you in your career. But bearing in mind that you are still employed to do a job and I expect you to do that job with a certain attitude. You’re meeting members of the public quite regularly - it’s important that you aren’t unhappy, or at least that you don’t show it. This meeting is really just to let you know I’m not happy with the effort that you’ve made...
Michelle: Okay …
Sean: … and I really want to see some improvement. I know it’s difficult. I know that it’s depressing not to get a job, but you’ve got to snap out of it, you’ve got to get on with the job that you’re doing now.

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