Talk about what's on your mind and then listen. By asking and listening, you'll learn new information. That you want to hear and understand what the other person is saying. It's important to have confidence in being able to hold these types of conversations.
It's a fundamental leadership skill that will serve you in every aspect of your professional and possibly personal life. We should all strive to better manage difficult conversations. In today's post, I share 10 tips for having successful difficult conversations, and I've organized them into three sections. Although 10 seems like a lot of steps, they really aren't.
All of these steps are fairly simple and can be repeated. These are things that you can do over and over again and that you can improve with over time. In reality, we all have to have these difficult conversations. We may not recognize that that's what they are when they happen, but if we take the time to prepare and execute them carefully and carefully, we'll get better at them.
So in a couple of months or years or decades, depending on how many you have, you'll realize that this really doesn't have to be scary and that it's something you can be very good at. Even if we give feedback, we do it in a “sugar-coated” way and our coach doesn't fully understand the point. Try to say: “Your posture and your intonation reflect that you don't trust your own experience, let's talk about that. In my book Wired for Authenticity, one of the seven practices of authentic leaders that I talk about is “Stay curious.” As I said, coaching conversations are difficult because our own emotions often get entangled in the mix.
When emotions play a role, it's hard to really hear clearly; see “Listen to how you hear” for more information on this trend. If you're worried about how to have a difficult conversation with your boss, you're not alone. However, preparing for the conversation can make the process a little more manageable. I've spent more than 20 years managing people and I've been involved in some great training conversations, quite mediocre and very bad training conversations.
A BetterUp coach can help you hone your conversation skills, so you're always ready to have the conversations you need. Reflect on these conversations with a BetterUp coach to find ways to become a better communicator. Learn how developing coaching skills across your organization can allow you and your team to hold difficult conversations with each other more effectively. However, avoiding difficult conversations doesn't make them go away, and having them can substantially improve our work and family lives.
Trust me, if you're not training based on performance, you're missing out on a golden opportunity to improve your coach's performance and move your team and company forward. The end result of any great coaching conversation is a clear commitment to results and greater trust in the relationship. That's why it's common for the most difficult conversations to be outsourced to a professional coach.