Breathe: remain CALM and mindful of your body language from the beginning to the end – tone and demeanor are key!

Be Prepared: Have notes around facts, details, and evidence to ensure your conversation remains objective.

Be Empathetic and Honest: Consider appropriate responses and defuse any negative emotions that you hear or observe. Be mindful of how the message is being delivered.

Listen: Employees like to be heard. Collaborate and engage for a possible solution or desired outcome.

Direct/Control the Conversation: Focus on the “what” and not the “why”.

Close with Clear Expectations: recap the goals and desired outcome and notify employee of the consequences should the issues or behavior continue.

Document: document the conversation with specific details (date and time, who was present, and summarize entire conversation and findings/observations)


For more information on how ETC HR can assist in these conversations, contact us at or 210-323-7846.