7 Steps To Tackle A Tough Conversation
Tough conversations are one of those “make or break” parts of leading people. They can either empower and ignite team members, or demoralize them and tank their productivity.
The result you get absolutely depends on your ability to have high levels of quality communication with the other person.
Chances are there’s a tough conversation you need to have with a team member, vendor, or, maybe even a customer, right now that you’ve delayed for some reason.
Perhaps you’ve delayed because you’re not sure how the other person will respond, fear of hurting them, concern they’ll deny the problem, fear of upsetting them, or perhaps fear the person may even quit.
Maybe you’re struggling because tough conversations are big-time conflict for you, and it’s just “easier to not do it.”
Here are 7 steps for having tough conversations you can put into practice right now:
STEP 1: Before you call a team member out, you should always ask yourself first, “Am I the problem?”
Start thinking through:
- Did I do something wrong here?
- Did I not communicate clearly?
- Did I share the wrong information?
- Did I hold something back, or did I give the wrong impression?
STEP 2: Take responsibility and treat people with dignity.
When you take personal responsibility, you show your team member you’re not out to punish them, call them out, or make them a bad person. And you’re not just out to be the bad person yourself, and yell at someone for the sake of asserting power.
Taking personal responsibility causes them to have more respect for you. It causes them to see that you are willing to treat them with dignity. It causes them to see that you care about them.
When you do that, it also causes people to feel more loyal to you, as well as feeling safe, which gives them the freedom to take responsibility when they screw up next time.
STEP 3: Always, always, ALWAYS try hard to avoid jumping to conclusions.
Some people’s natural tendency, when something goes wrong, is to assume what happened, tell everybody what’s wrong, who’s fault it is, and how “I’m not going to stand for this.”
The major problem with this is it shuts people down, puts them on the defensive, and now they won’t talk. So you just muzzled the people who have the perspective needed to find out what happened and fix it.
That is a terrible way to lead, terrible way. As much as you possibly can, avoid jumping to conclusions. Instead do step 4.
STEP 4: Gain perspective on the situation, the person, and yourself first.
The more quality information you have, the greater decisions you can make. When it comes to tough conversations, gaining perspective is hugely important.
Instead of making assumptions, ask questions to find out what happened. Ask questions to the person or people involved, and also ask yourself if you contributed in any way.
STEP 5: Once you have as much perspective as you can get, gain even MORE by asking questions starting with, “Help me understand…”
Once you’ve asked a ton of questions, and you know what’s going on, take it a step further. Ask the question…”help me to understand…”
“Help me to understand why you chose to show up late?” “Help me to understand why you chose to gossip?” “Help me to understand why you’re feeling defensive about this?” “Help me to understand why you see it that way?”
STEP 6: Guide your team member to self-discovery.
Help your team member understand their choices by guiding them to the answers. The goal of tough conversations isn’t to be right, tell someone what they’re doing wrong, or point out their flaws.
A leader’s job is to make their team member successful, not the other way around.
When it comes to tough conversations, success is getting them to see their choice, understand why they made it, and have a plan to not repeat it, without you telling them all of these things.
On the other side of tough conversations is progress and growth…especially if guide a person to discovering answers on their own.
STEP 7: Ask the team member to clarify the situation.
When you ask the team member to clarify the situation, you A) treat them with dignity, and B) show them you are more concerned with discovery, and solving the problem then in them being in trouble.
Again, this helps them feel free to communicate openly, builds loyalty, and increases buy-in.
These 7 steps are a sample of what I’ll teach in-depth to you on tough conversations at the Next-Level Leadership Live Event May 2-4 2016.
If you want to go deeper in this area, and other areas, like making stronger decisions and eliminating task saturation to get more time back, check out all of the details about the event!
After attending this event, you will:
- MAKE STRONGER DECISIONS
You’ll learn how to make better decisions, and overcome limiting beliefs and trained behavior you bring to work with you every day so you can become the right leader for your team.
- HAVE NEW TOOLS TO SET A PROFOUND & DELIBERATE CULTURE
Learn the secrets I’ve used for years to create a profound and deliberate business culture, where people feel safe and bought into the mission, are able to communicate honestly, serve clients like family, and get a heck of a lot work done, faster.
- TACKLE TOUGH CONVERSATIONS FEARLESSLY
Conversations that empower and ignite team members, rather than demoralize them and tank their productivity.
- CONTROL YOUR TIME AND TASKS LIKE NEVER BEFORE
Task saturation locks you away in your office too much, stresses you out, and holds you back from spending time with team members and leading well so people work at their best.
- OVERCOME FEAR THAT’S STALLING YOUR BUSINESS
Fear leads to bad decisions or not taking action at all, stalling you, your team, your business growth, and customer loyalty and happiness.
- UNDERSTAND ANCIENT WISDOM ON INCREASING REVENUE
Rabbi Daniel Lapin, “America’s Rabbi,” head of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, and author of Business Secrets of the Bible, will share wisdom on ancient Jewish beliefs and practices on business and making money. Lapin is known for his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and communicate them in a practical and entertaining way.
This event is for you if you:
– Want to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and want to make better decisions to become the right leader for your team
– Aren’t happy about your company culture and frustrated with why team members aren’t more productive and don’t seem to care as much as they should about their jobs or the success of the business
– Struggle with team member conflict and stress about having hard conversations
– Find yourself spending all of your time on the crisis of the day and constantly putting out fires and can’t seem to ever tackle your to-do list of important work
– Have a hard time setting direction or making decisions you’re confident your team will accomplish as well as you would
– Have more days where you’re stressed out, overwhelmed, and overworked instead of spending time doing what you want, feeling healthy, and happy
So are you ready to breakthrough your own leadership ceiling and reach your and your team’s potential?
I’m going to unpack more than 25 years of leadership and business experience growing and running multi-million dollar businesses from scratch.
These are the same strategies and processes I’ve taught to THOUSANDS of entrepreneurs and leaders over the years and to my high-end mastermind clients today.
The Next-Level Leadership Live Event won’t be another live event where you’re given a blank notebook and a pen and the host wings it for 3 days.
I’ve broken down the core methods and strategies I’ve used for over two decades to build unified, loyal, and highly productive teams.
I want to share the wisdom God has blessed me with with as many people as possible because this stuff really works!
If you want to take your leadership to the next level, then I invite you to join me at our upcoming Next-Level Leadership Live Event May 2-4, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn.
Here’s the link if you’re ready to reserve your space:http://chrislocurto.com/next-level-leadership-event/
Act Fast And Save Money!
If you’re ready to take fast action, you’re the exact person we want at this event! Why? Because you’re decisive, and you’re going to plug into this material to get the absolute most out of it!
We want to reward you for that! So, if you act quickly, you can secure one of our guest seats for only $247 (a $650 savings) that we reserve specifically so you can bring a team member, peer, or spouse who also wants to take their leadership to the next level or who plans to support you in your growth.
Secure a seat for them now while the price is the lowest it’s going to be and save $650 off regular ticket pricing. If you split the total price for both seats, you’ll both only pay $422 to attend.
So go reserve your seat now, and once you’ve moved forward with that decision behind you, you can check out your bonuses, and start planning your trip in May!
If you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email or email my team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, and I can’t wait to see you in May!
And by the way, here’s what other entrepreneurs and leaders said about this event.
“Attending Chris’ team events has allowed our organization to exceed every goal we have had” – Bill Fischer, President, Fantom Materials Inc., and Vilimia, Inc
“I always walk away with meaningful knowledge I can apply right away” – Brent Van Haren, COO, SecurAlarm Systems
“For over 4 years, I’ve been benefiting in business and life with CLo’s Live Events.”
– Stephen Scoggins, CEO, Custom Home Exteriors, and Founder, Journey Principles
“The content and experience of the event is fantastic, the friendships – genuine, and the staff is fantastic. If you leave without a sense of energy, renewal, and challenge – you did it wrong.” – Quinn Denning, President, Rapidtek
“The best decision I made was to bring my operations manager. We left the event ON FIRE! Goals are now in place for 2016.” – Josh Gettig, CEO, Mite-E Exterminating and Graystone Environmental
“Attending a Live Event was one of the best investments I’ve made – it’s not only impacted my business, but me personally as well.” – Mike Forrester, CEO, Kojeta
“I always leave with huge ideas. Unlike other live events, I leave with actionable ideas that positively impact our culture and bottom line.” – Bo McDonald, Owner, Your Marketing Co.
“You walk away feeling educated, empowered, and motivated to make your goals happen.” – Shauna Watson, Watson Engineering