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Tough Conversation

Handling conflict is one of the project leader's main responsibilities. Doing this with tact, and with skill can be tricky. Just as with any other skill, learning how to have tough conversations and practicing it will make you better at it. There are many scenarios where project leaders have to communicate when the stakes are high and conflict is imminent.

I have recently ran into a great approach written about by an influential PM in Puget Sound, Eric Verzuh of the Versatile Project Management Company. Eric references a favorite book, Crucial Conversations, and shares their S.T.A.T.E. acronym as a concise strategy for skillfully communicating in contact. 

Here are those 5 strategies for handling tough conversations:

Share your facts...

Tell your story... 

Ask for others' paths...

Talk tentatively... 

Encourage testing...”

For more information, and a real world PM case where this can be applied please visit Eric’s blog.


What techniques have you used when discussing difficult topics? Please share and let us know what you thought about the approach above. 

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