Using Listening Styles to Address Difficult Conversations Within Teams.

Everyone in their lifetime will endure a difficult conversation. The conversations are difficult because people’s anxieties are escalated by hidden and irrational assumptions. A difficult conversation triggers emotions, biases, and irrational thinking and rational reasoning are way down. Addressing complex issues timely among teams creates an understanding that each individual is essential to the team. The unique qualities and skills of each person working together form the team’s dynamic to work and realize optimal results.

The purpose of this report is to instruct the reader on how to use listening styles to emotionally connect with a person when having a difficult conversation. The best way to handle difficult conversations is to listen to the seen and unseen part of the conversation, recognize the irrational emotions, address the person’s needs, and understand the cause.


Every professional encounter a conversation where he has strong differences of opinion. People start almost every conversation with expectations. When those expectations are challenged, they often react with emotions. “We’ve all had bad experiences with these kinds of conversations in the past,” says Holly Weeks, the author of Failure to Communicate. Sometimes the boss lashed out or the client hung up the phone, in response. Tending to avoid them is not the right solution,” says Jean-Francois Manzoni. The purpose is to learn how to respond in a way that has better outcomes.

Using listening styles is the most important way that you can win a difficult conversion. Listening styles can change the questions that have been asked in the entire conversation. This report focuses on the outcomes of a few listening styles that address difficult conversations within the team. Listening for information, evaluation, detail, empathy, and insight. In an informational process, we collect facts and specific details. In the evaluation, one can make opinions and judgments. After these two steps, we have to listen for solutions and empathy. Finally, Insight reveals hidden significance.

Readers will learn how to use the different listening styles to address difficult conversations within the team. Focus on these three techniques to handle difficult conversations: understanding the person’s needs and cause, recognizing the emotional behavior, and seeing the unseen part of the conversation.

Words Are Just a Part of the Conversation.

A successful conversation requires more than just words. It needs listening styles. There are four listening styles, but this paper focuses on two types: deep and critical listening styles. During a conversation, people may apply a deep listening style to connect with their partners. The deep listening style allows listeners to concentrate and gather the speaker’s point of view. Therefore, successful teams need to utilize a deep listening style. If a team member adapts a deep listening style, they may better understand their team’s working styles. Once everyone in the group understands each other, it is a minor complication in the team. A team leader may know when each team member performs best. Team failure is due to many reasons. For example, avoiding communication, lacking social interaction, and lacking deep listening skills. These are factors that cause teamwork to collapse.

Emotionally Connect with the Team.

An emotional connection is a bundle of subjective feelings that come together to create a bond between teammates. In the article, Tough Talks she mentioned, “Emotions can be very powerful and overwhelming”. You will want to identify team members’ strengths and weaknesses and work together. Encourage team members to feel comfortable with all having a voice and be polite and respectful to all. “It shows you understand and care about what matters deeply to the individual”. Stress is something that can overpower anyone, having a good schedule and working with people’s schedules is important. Connection is the most crucial component in building a productive and efficient workplace. Connect teams drive good collaboration, and healthy working relationships, and promote knowledge sharing.

Embrace the Critical Conversation.

People should realize that everyone is talented and unique in their own way. Therefore, people in teams should accept others’ differences. Diverse ideas are essential for completing projects on time. However, some people judge their teammates based on skills, education, and experiences. These mentalities lead them to avoid communicating with their teammates because they believe they are more capable than the rest of the team members. Team leaders can prevent complications by speaking with each team member and understanding their personalities and uniqueness. A good team requires social interaction and engagement. Each team member should try to understand, respect, and create an emotional connection with one another.

Moreover, they can share their hobbies and do outdoor activities on the weekend. This interaction will allow them to get to know each other better. On top of that, people on the team can upgrade their relationship level by personally expressing their concerns and caring. The engagement between each person in the group allows teammates to stay more connected and gain more work productivity.

Conclusion and Recommendations.

To summarize, everyone faces difficult conversations when their presumptions are questioned which leads to emotions and irrational thinking. Giving up or avoiding the problem is not the right solution, so the purpose is to learn how to respond in a better way. This report discusses a few listening styles that address difficult conversations within the team.

Only words are not enough to succeed in a difficult conversation. There is a need to learn the use of listening styles to emotionally connect with a person when having a difficult conversation. First, this paper focuses on two types of listening styles: deep and critical listening styles. With the deep listening style, listeners concentrate and gather the speaker’s point of view. In the second place, emotionally connecting with the team is essential as an emotional connection is a bundle of subjective feelings that come together to create a bond between teammates. Lastly, the solution lies in embracing the critical conversation as people should realize that everyone is right in right in their perspective.

Barbara, K. (2019). Tough Talks How to Find Success with Difficult Conversations and Move Forward Productively.
Dale, S., & Sheets, K. (2019). Embrace the Individual for the Ultimate Client Experience.

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