Comms Lab: Episode 5
How to Finish well in any Difficult Conversation
Getting started in a difficult conversation, is at least half the battle.
That’s why, in Episode 4 ‘The Good Start‘ we covered some evidence-based strategies for doing this well.
But what a shame it would be to ace the start, only to lose our way in the middle… and crash and burn at the end.
Fortunately, the communication skills literature again comes to our rescue.
In this video, I share what I’ve found to be the 3 most valuable strategies for navigating the back half of any difficult conversation.
Whether it’s a process of shared decision-making, providing difficult feedback or breaking bad news, the principles are entirely transferable.
I also touch on a specific communication skill that I’ve found to be essential for rapidly building trust, even in the context of heightened emotions.
Plus, Gatsby is back for more of the action:)
0:34 – Gather Before You Give
0:54 – Open vs Closed Questions
2:08 – Aim to Establish a Sufficiently Shared Understanding
4:14 – Summarising Back: “Steel Manning”
6:00 – Always Agree on a Plan
A path to highly effective communication skills
Hayden is an emergency physician at University Hospital Geelong and a senior lecturer at Deakin University, Geelong. He is somewhat obsessed with the science and art of effective communication, and in particular: difficult conversations. He believes that we can all get better at having difficult conversations, and that the process of learning to do so can be seriously fun.
Hayden is also an avid but terrible surfer, ad hoc gardener, and dad to two awesome kids.