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Reconstructing a Challenging Conversation

Reconstructing a Challenging Conversation

The Situation 

The conversation was between the sales department manager and me. It involves a request for a salary increment following a period of sustained income increment. Over the past year, the department has achieved increased turnover, translating into increased revenue. I have performed more responsibilities during the same period, but a salary increment or title promotion has not accompanied this. Although I understand money issues may be complex, I feel that I deserve a pay rise in light of the company’s current financial position.

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Purpose/Outcome of the Conversation

Since I had pre-arranged the meeting with the department’s manager, I approached the conversation with clear and solid objectives. My goal was to acquire a pay increase equivalent to 6% of my current pay. Typically, companies allow a 3% pay increase per cycle. My goal was to negotiate for a 6% pay increase, but if the manager deemed it fit to offer more, I would take it.

I also expected the manager to enquire about the scope of my responsibilities over the past year. Performance is a key metric used to determine employee compensation. Therefore, I had expected the manager to take me to task on why I thought I deserved the pay increment. I was prepared to justify my request based on my accomplishments.

Actual Outcome of the Conversation

As expected, the manager took me to task over my request. While my request for a pay increase was not flatly rejected, a 6% pay rise was dismissed from the outset. After convincing the manager that I had performed enhanced roles over the past year, he seemed to agree. After consulting with the human resource department, the manager promised me a pay increase. He also emphasized that the pay rise would not exceed 3%.


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In this assignment, you will apply what you have learned and practised in this course regarding communication, powerful conversations, active listening, body language, and personal interactions to reinterpret a challenging conversation and restate how you may have made that conversation more meaningful.

Reconstructing a Challenging Conversation

Reconstructing a Challenging Conversation


Consider a recent challenging conversation you had with an employee, peer, supervisor, manager, customer, or vendor. This conversation may have occurred during a meeting, a training session, a coaching situation, with a disgruntled employee, with an unhappy customer, during a performance conversation, or in any other business situation.

Discuss your challenging conversation:

Describe the situation: what was going on, what was the reason for the conversation, who was involved

Describe the purpose or intended outcome of the conversation

Describe the actual outcome of the conversation. What happened as a result of the conversation?

To get a more positive outcome, reconstruct the dialogue using the four steps of the following template: Restructuring a Challenging Conversation.

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