Most people dread having difficult conversations. This can include conversations where we may have to deliver unpleasant news, discuss a delicate subject, or talk about something that needs to change or has gone wrong. Just thinking about having these conversation—can fill you with stress taking up space in your mind and distracting you from other important things that require your attention.
Before you have these conversations, a little planning and preparing can help relieve some of the stress and make it much more likely that the difficult conversations you need to have will be successful.
When you are having these conversations, make sure your point come across clearly and concisely, and then the best thing you can do is listen. Give the person an opportunity to respond. The whole point of the conversation is to rectify the problem, not to take it out on them or make them feel bad. You are having this conversation because you have protocols and processes. When these are not followed, they need to be addressed... part of the difficult conversation is because we make it that, so in our mind, we delay, and the longer we delay, the worse it will get.
Another important point: deal with it that day! You don’t necessarily have to deal with it that second but make sure it's dealt with quite quickly. Also, once it's been dealt with, make sure you make a note of that. Make sure that a note is written for their HR file and make sure you understand who was in the meeting- was it you, was it the manager and the employee? What was said? What was resolved? What was the call to action? What are the next steps? Instead of making it a difficult conversation turn it into a learning experience.
Go into this meeting trying to feel that there will be a positive outcome. If the person ultimately needs to be terminated and it's an offense that's a causes for dismissal, then the conversation is very quick. You're being let go. This is why. Keep it short, brief and on point because you don't want to get into a large dialogue about why and so on. A decision is being made. Go forward with it. Difficult conversations do have a positive outcome when they're handled with respect. You're there to make sure your staff understand what you want. Be respectful.
You will find that they are not as difficult as you think. Get out of your own head and be ready for the meeting. Stay on track, and then you will have a much better outcome. The conversations that you think are difficult, don't have to be. They are if you make them!
If you still need some help having these kinds of conversations, please contact us! We can help set up your policies and procedures and make these kinds of situations minimal stress for you. Click HERE to get in touch!