How do you tell one of your direct reports that she stinks? This case explores the dynamics behind having difficult conversations, and giving and receiving feedback. It is designed to illustrate the negative effects that can result after a difficult conversation and ways to reduce the risk of adverse consequences. The case also touches on relationships in the workplace and the correlation they have to the bottom line. In the A case students have to decide whether to confront a worker about her hygiene problems. The B case offers a role-playing situation to practice conducting a difficult conversation. We learn in the C case that the discussion went terribly wrong, and in the E case readers are provided an epilogue.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia