Succeeding in Difficult Conversations

Difficult conversations reflect the nature of our relationships, how we share feedback, and how we care for the people we work with.

Difficult conversations reflect the nature of our relationships, how we share feedback, and how we care for the people we work with.

You’re a people manager. One of your team members isn’t performing, and if you don’t address it with them it’s not going to end well. But you don’t want to discourage them, disengage them, or risk damaging your relationship because you need them on board. And because they start to fizzle before you can finish saying “feedba...”

Ack.

Most of the managers I work with have positive relationships with their direct reports but struggle to approach these situations. What I suggest is to start approaching them sooner: in the months and moments before difficult conversations are necessary. Here are two steps to develop your habit:

  1. Dr.Gottman’s Magic Ratio

    Giving our team members a consistent experience of reinforcing feedback conditions them to be trust its potential to correct.

  2. Kim Scott’s Radical Candour

    Shit sandwiches and sugarcoating isn’t serving them - it’s serving you. Sometimes caring about a person means being willing to piss them off.

Think back to a time you didn’t want to hear the difficult feedback, but needed to. Did you receive it?

Morgan Toane

Entry Learning, Toronto