Let’s take a look at what might happen if Bec decides to have a conversation with Ms Murphy.

The following video highlights the importance of considering what you might do if the person you want to talk to isn’t available straight away.

In this video Bec was:

  • Clearly frustrated
  • Forceful in persisting that they have a conversation in that moment

It is important for Bec to learn:

  • How to manage her emotions
  • How to maintain a professional attitude in the workplace, including having respect for supervisors/managers
  • The importance of building good rapport

Let’s take a look at how Bec could have approached this in a more productive way.

In this video Bec:

  • Remained calm and had a positive attitude
  • Presented an alternative solution to Ms Murphy when she realised she was unavailable to talk at that time

Did you notice the difference in Bec’s tone of voice and the way she presents her feelings? In this example Bec was able to get a better end result by:

  • Being as specific as possible about the time, place and the purpose of the meeting ensuring that they would have an adequate amount of time set aside
  • Presented her alternatives as questions and allowed Ms Murphy to respond and explain her perspective as well

By thinking about what is important to her and making a plan prior to her conversation with Ms Murphy Bec was prepared and able to remain calm and professional.

Let’s take a look at how Bec’s planned conversation with Ms Murphy unfolds:

Bec and Ms Murphy had set aside half an hour to talk about Bec’s placement and in this scenario:

  • Bec and Ms Murphy both had an opportunity to explain what was going on for them and find out what was going on for the other person
  • They were able to discuss different options and timelines

By listening to each other and openly discussing the problems that have arisen, it may be possible to come up with solutions that take into consideration the current circumstances and work for everyone.

Unfortunately even when you plan your conversation it may not go the way you expect. It is important to be prepared for different alternatives and to remember that “what is going on” for the other person may be different than what you thought.

Let’s take a look at another scenario and how Bec deals with an unexpected response from her placement supervisor.

In this scenario Bec:

  • Remains calm
  • Considers her alternative to seek assistance by talking to her university coordinator

Even though this conversation could be quite upsetting for Bec she has made an effort to remain professional. It is important to remember that people in the workplace will notice how you react in difficult situations. How you manage yourself may influence your grade and/or reference from your supervisor.

An alternative conversation could look like this:

In this example Ms Murphy:

  • Responded in a very defensive manner
  • Assigned blame to Bec for the situation
  • Was not been prepared to listen to Bec

It is possible that the person you wish to have a conversation with may be difficult to talk to. Some key things to remember in any of these situations are:

  • Come to a conversation prepared to listen! You will find out new information as you never really know what’s going on for the other person
  • Come prepared with well thought out options but be prepared to be flexible once you hear what’s going on for the other person
  • Consider what the other person might suggest and have pre-prepared answers
  • Know what you think would be good for you and what you think you could live with
  • Manage the relationship! This may be your first glimpse at working life. It may not be what you expected, so be prepared to accept that it can be difficult and hard work
  • Try to manage your emotions and know when to remove yourself from a conversation if you feel you won’t be able to handle yourself well in that situation
  • Know that you can walk away and think about the new information, seek advice and come back to the conversation

Remember, although the outcome may not be your preferred option it is important to adapt to the work environment you find yourself in and make conscious choices of how to respond to conflict.