Practice Gracious Communication

Most of us want to communicate with kindness, but it can be challenging to convey warmth and compassion under frustrating, stressful, or maddening circumstances. 

Three practices can help you in your day-to-day interactions, as well as big, difficult conversations. 

First, meet confrontation with grace. This means wearing a smile and exuding patience and courtesy when an employee brings you difficult news or challenges your decision-making. An open-minded tone will signal that you’re there to listen, process, and problem-solve—not to reprimand or enforce your own authority. 

Next, give credit whenever you can. Recognizing your employees and showing them gratitude will engender their enthusiasm, hard work, trust, and loyalty. 

Finally, give people space and clarity so you don’t catch them off guard. Schedule conversations in advance or ask them if it’s a good time to talk—and give them a quick preview of what you’d like to talk about. 

These kind, simple gestures will give your counterpart an opportunity to prepare, and make it clear that you’re interested in listening to their response.

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