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difficult decisions


EVERYONE has to deal with difficult discussions in the workplace at some time or another and, however big or small the problem, it is often made a lot worse by the mishandling of one-to-one situtations.

A survey by the Centre for Dispute Resolution found that 63% of managers and employees feel that their organisation is not prepared to deal with challenging conversations, so workplace relations advisor ACAS has just launched new guidance to help managers tackle them.

According to Adrian Wakeling, many line managers go into difficult conversations with very good intentions but often make the mistake of prolonging or intensifying the problem rather than restricting or resolving it. The ACAS guide aim to help managers stay in control of emotions as well as the situation. It also explains the four main steps to take: setting the right tone, stating the issues and giving evidence, asking for an explanation and agreeing a way forward.

Got a difficult meeting tomorrow? View the advice booklet 'Challenging conversations and how to manage them' at


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