We work with small businesses across the country. Despite different states and different industries, there is a common challenge facing all our clients:
Fear of having hard conversations.
We seemed to have forgotten how to have discourse. Ironically, at a time in which technology has made it infinitely easier to communicate, we’re doing less and less of it.
As a result, managers, leaders, and owners feel incapable of having tough conversations that lead to positive outcomes.
If you know us, you know we like to provide simple, practical, and solution-driven counsel to our clients. If you’ve been putting off a tough conversation, here is our simple, practical, and solution-driven recommendation:
Just Say It.
What do we mean by “Just Say It?”
Just say the hard thing you need to tell a failing employee.
Just say the truth to an underperforming team member.
Just say the feedback you have held off saying to someone who needs to hear the truth.
We can appreciate the reasons you’ve put off having that tough talk. But trust us: provided you do it with kindness, you’ll make progress to a positive and healthy resolution to the issue. And as you continue to Just Say It, you’ll be more passionate and committed to your job, deliver better performance, and get better performance out of your employees.
Quite often, the hardest part of a tough conversation is starting the conversation. Here’s an ice-breaker to use for your next challenging conversation:
“Are you open to feedback?”
We like this sentence because it sets the tone for the conversation you seek to have with the person. It lets the person know you’re prepared to provide feedback. And, the sentence invites the person to be candid. Maybe the person isn’t open to feedback at that moment. Certainly, decide if you need to continue the conversation regardless. But if the person will be in a better headspace at another time, it’s up to you if you want to reschedule the discussion.
But make sure you Just Say It.
It’s time for transparency in the workplace. It’s time to put the cards on the table. You may think that ignoring or discounting diminished work performance will “take care of itself,” but I assure you that most problems only get worse, not better if left unaddressed.
Unless you Just Say It.
Just say what performance needs to improve.
Just say what expectations need to be met.
Just say what the standard for quality must be moving forward.
Feedback is a gift: provided you do it with kindness, clarity, and respect.
The speed of business is only increasing. Your challenges will probably multiply, not lessen. You owe it to yourself to address problems with your team members: clearly and effectively. You’ll benefit. Ultimately, your team members will benefit. And your bottom-line performance and profits will benefit.
And it all starts with these three words: Just Say It.
Interested in other current employment trends? Click the link to view the recent blog: Interested in other current employment trends? Click the link to view the recent blog: Your Playbook for Tough Employee Conversations or check back for more on human resources, payroll, insurance, and benefits. or check back for more on human resources, payroll, insurance, and benefits.