Monday, May 24, 2010

Say It How You Mean It! How To Talk Your Team Through Any Situation.

Have you ever had an issue with an employee that seemed to challenging to handle? Have you ever just been stopped and tongue tied and struggled to just get it out? Today I am going to walk you through the steps of how to say what you need to say and coach your employees through difficult situations every time.

This can happen to the best of us.

I heard a saying once that stuck with me. “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” Well, the saying can be applied to communication. “Tough conversations don’t last. Tough people do.” So let’s toughen you up a bit!

Having tough conversations begins with understanding how you are relating to all of it in the first place.

You get to create how it goes. When you say or think that it is going to be a “tough” conversation then that is exactly how it is going to go. Conversations become tough or easy based upon how you relate to it.

What tends to happen is an employee or renter doesn’t follow through, breaks a policy, talks back, is disruptive, takes to long to learn or complete something and you “react” to it.

This is where it all begins. However, most of us are so emotionally plugged by what a person did or didn’t do that we cannot see that we are being emotionally hooked by their behavior. This is when more challenges can be created. More than you want and more than is necessary.

Here are eight steps to having effective conversations:

Step One: Do not react. Give it 24 hours. Let your emotion go. If you cannot let your feelings go, share with someone trusted who will know that you are going to handle it within 24 hours so that it is not gossip. Be responsible for your emotions and the energy it brings.

Step Two: Get it out of your head and on paper. Write down what happened, how you feel about it, what impact it could have on you & the business and the relationship with the person if you do not communicate & handle it. Be clear about the potential ramifications in the future.

Step Three: Create your intention! Write down how you want to handle it and what the result will be after you have had the conversation.

Step Four: Appreciation! This can be challenging for some and it is the most important step of all. This requires letting go of your ego and righteousness and looking at the person for the “great” that they bring. Write down what you appreciate about this person as an employee, co-worker such as timeliness, open minded, great technician, always helping, etc. Then you write down what qualities and characteristics you appreciate about them as a person in general such as their energy, smile, warmth and giving spirit, work ethic, etc.

Step Five: Ask them when they can meet with you. Give them the opportunity to be ready for the conversation as opposed to jumping them the next time you see them. This opens the door for them to be prepared instead of being reactive.

Step Six: Begin by acknowledging them for who they are as an employee. Tell them why you appreciate them. Next share directly what happened and ask them to share their perspective first so you can give them a chance to communicate.

Step Seven: Share with them how you felt and the impact their actions had. Use an analogy that they could relate too to help them see the impact. Get them to be in your shoes. Remind them of policy and get their commitment to follow through.

Step Eight: Completion! End the conversation by letting them know that you appreciate who they are and why they are important to the business and that you are counting on them.

At the end of the day, our commitment as leaders is to support people to continue their growth in life and business and to give them the room to be human and make mistakes and learn. You have to know what triggers you and be responsible for it while standing for the values and policies of your organization.

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