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The Ten Most Difficult Conversations to Have With Your Employees (or Co-workers)


For this list we’ve invited workplace expert, speaker and motivator Merge Gupta-Sunderji to share with a list of what she’s found to be the Most Difficult Conversations That Come Up In the Workplace.


10. Using personal communication devices (iPhones, Blackberries, etc.) during a meeting. Even worse if you’re doing it when the most senior boss is present.
9. Excessive number and/or length of personal phone calls at work.
8. Inappropriate use of the Internet at work – ranging from incessant checking of your personal hotmail account to accessing restricted sites to downloading pornographic material.
7. Repeated tardiness getting to work or returning from breaks.
6. Stop gossiping about your co-workers and/or managers.
5. Inappropriate workplace attire – we’re talking the gamut – too short, too low-cut, too revealing, too casual, the list goes on.
4. Please stop _____________ (insert “poor social habit” here). Example of poor social habits: picking your nose, eating with your mouth open, grabbing your crotch, making inappropriate hand gestures).
3. I have to discipline you/let you go/fire you.
2. You can’t make out or have sex in the office (even more awkward if they’re doing it during working hours)
1. The dreaded “body odor” or personal hygiene discussion.

Copyright © 2009 Merge Gupta-Sunderji

Merge Gupta-Sunderji turns managers into leaders. A professional speaker, author, and consultant, Merge gives people specific and practical tools to achieve leadership and communication success. In her leadership development consultancy practice, Merge works with managers and supervisors in over 200 client companies to help them deal with day-to-day leadership challenges and issues. This “top ten” list is based not only on her real-life experiences with actual leaders, but also combines the results of a survey that was conducted in early 2009. For more information or to contact Merge, visit her blog at

Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “The Ten Most Difficult Conversations to Have With Your Employees (or Co-workers)”

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