Question of the Week

How have you approached difficult conversations in the workplace?

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It's likely you dread and avoid having conversations with co-workers, supervisors or subordinates about lingering problems in your working relationships. New York Public Library general counsel Michele Coleman Mayes—in our Lived & Learned podcast—urges lawyers to look at these conversations differently.

“You need to go in … with this mindset of ‘this is something that I’m doing because I want to improve a situation,’” Mayes says. “And likewise, be open-minded. Don’t go in assuming you know the answer or what the person is going to say to you.”

This week, we’d like to ask you: How have you approached difficult conversations in the workplace? Have you ever managed to turn around a bad working relationship with a well-handled discussion?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Has a client or party in a case ever made you fear for your safety?

Featured answer:

Posted by Andrew Casanave: “When I practiced family law, I discovered that a client lied to me about the basis for taking child visitation away from her ex-husband. Opposing counsel showed me the evidence. When I informed her that the ruling would not go her way, she swung her purse at my head. The noise when the purse landed indicated a hard and heavy object was enclosed. Now I practice only criminal defense. Murderers and robbers are nicer than divorcing schoolteachers.”

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