Awkward conversations

don’t be a deer in the headlights

Roe deer at the Wiltshire farm office. Photo credit: Lisa Munns.

Some of us seem to breeze through life relatively unfazed by awkwardness and embarrassment. For others it can be an ongoing struggle and the panic of awkward silence rises up and clutches us around the neck. Mouth is dry. Words don’t come out.

It’s not uncommon to feel out of your depth in situations of conflict and as an accreditation manager, dealing with declining an application can be tricky. So here are our top 3 tips for combatting awkwardness at the accreditation centre.

1 Get straight to the point. Research shows that 4 seconds of awkward silence can rapidly increase your anxiety levels. Conflict is easier to resolve with a clear head so having a short ‘speech’ prepared for declined applications can help the conversation get off to a smooth start. Be polite, stick to the facts and keep it short.

2 Be prepared for any emotion exhibited by the applicant. Acknowledging the applicant’s feelings of embarrassment, disappointment or anger can help keep the situation calm. However, resist the urge to become emotionally invested.

3 Draw the conversation to a clear close. If necessary, refer back to the facts and follow up with a suggestion for the applicant’s next course of action.

With iAccredit, accepting and declining applications can easily be managed through the online interface. An email will be sent direct to the applicant informing them of the decision to their application. We’ve even done the hard work for you with an autogenerated, personalised response but if you wish to write your own, that’s fine! — it’s fully customisable.

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