Career Pathway #197: Crucial Conversations

When I’m not working as a LifeTrek coach, I work in an office where I recently faced the choice of how to react to a coworker’s hostile communication. I work closely with this person on a daily basis, and I was very concerned about the state of our relationship, based on the phone and email communication. At first I decided to let it slide since there has been a great deal of stress in the office, due to deadlines and a growing workload. But when there was another abrupt response, I knew I needed to initiate face to face conversation.

Addressing this type of issue is not easy for most people. So much so, that most of us let it slide, or try to handle the issues in ways other than speaking face to face and naming the specific difficulty. There is, of course, no guarantee that direct communication will resolve the issues but there is a much a greater chance for resolution with this option, than most others. That is if one truly puts forth the effort to hear and understand the other person, as well as to present their side of things in a calm and professional manner.

As it turned out, our conversation ended positively, and the rest of the week went smoothly. I believe we each understand the other’s viewpoint more clearly and have a better appreciation for the challenges each other faces. It was extremely important to share my desire for a positive and professional working relationship, where our communication is respectful to each other. 

If you have issues that you want to address, I encourage you to bite the bullet and arrange to speak face to face with the other person, if possible. It is likely that this individual would also like an improved relationship with you, by working through whatever is troubling to your situation. 

Coaching Inquiries: Are you experiencing any tension with co-workers, customers, or others around you? Are you willing to address the stress or discomfort directly? If so, what approach do you think would diffuse the situation and set you up for a more successful and pleasant relationship? If you are looking for more guidance on this subject, you may want to consider the book, Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson and others. It can be found on Amazon.

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about how a LifeTrek coach can support and guide you in your career development process, please Email Kate or use our Contact Form to schedule a complimentary coaching session. This will give you the opportunity to experience our coaching first hand and to receive the benefits of an individual session, focused specifically on your desires and process.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Kate Kriynovich (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH

Telephone: 614-488-4659
Fax: 240-465-5848

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