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Live from #SHRM10: Paul Falcone, on how to handle difficult conversations

I’m reporting live from the SHRM’s annual conference out in San Diego this week, and I was lucky enough to meet with Paul Falcone, vice president of human resources for Time Warner Cable and author of  “101 Tough Conversations to Have with Employees: A Manager’s Guide to Addressing Performance, Conduct, and Discipline Challenges.”

Among Paul’s great tips for better handling workplace conflicts:

  • Don’t be afraid to have them — sooner rather than later. Little problems can become big problems very quickly if you don’t address them head-on.
  • Ask people upfront (as soon as the interview process) how they like to hear feedback. Some people appreciate a direct approach; others want something softer. And make it safe for them to tell you the prefer the latter.
  • Use guilt, not anger to motivate people to assume responsibility.

Check out our full interview with Paul, as well as other conversations with HR thoughtleaders from Smartbrief’s video series with


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