In life, there are occasions when no matter how much we’d like to avoid it, a difficult discussion is necessary with a teammate, coworker, family member, or friend so we can navigate a tricky situation or deal with challenging behavior.
As a business owner and manager of people for more than 16 years, this is familiar territory. In my last role I served as the president of a company with over 500 team members). Confrontation, coaching, corrective discipline, and sometimes terminations have been part of my regular responsibilities. I think I handled such interactions well at times — but I also bombed on some occasions. More than once, I recall walking away thinking, “Wow, that did not go the way I that I thought it would.”
I tried to learn from each less-than-stellar experience. Leadership development courses, reading, studying, trial and error, and a genuine intention to learn and improve in this area have helped. I’ve found a fbew strategic ways, over the years, to approach these interactions thoughtfully. And I’ve shared successful techniques with my teams and colleagues.
With a little pre-planning and the right intentions, you can turn what could be a difficult conversation into an opportunity to build trust, communicate needs and expectations, and foster an environment for growth and improvement.
For many of us, just the word “confrontation” carries strong negative emotions. We may fear that we will hurt someone’s feelings, create a difficult work environment or compromise a friendship.
Developing the ability to confront issues is essential in the workplace and in other areas of our lives. Addressing issues as they arise lets team members or coworkers have the information they need to meet expectations in relationships, job performance, and workplace culture.
You can foster communication by providing an opportunity for people to correct and grow with the organization, while also documenting your efforts to help them. Unfortunately, sometimes a manager's best efforts don’t make the needed difference, and documentation may be necessary to support a decision to terminate employment. However, many times I have discovered that an employee didn’t realize that their behavior was creating a problem. When given the information and an opportunity to improve, they made corrections and began to thrive.
I am sure you would like to avoid a conversation that leaves you asking yourself, “What just happened?” There is an art to approaching difficult subjects in a positive manner that will create an intentional environment for growth. I hope to provide a coaching opportunity to align my teammate with the goal. I’m not going to claim I win ‘em all, but I’m sure this thoughtful preparation will put you on a path to the most positive outcome possible.
When we confront, we are trying to bring to light something that needs to be addressed. Remember, that is our perspective, but the person you are conducting the conversation with may not see it the same way, or even be aware that there is an issue or concern.
Here are my tips for mastering difficult conversations:
1) Be the example
5) Avoid back-tracking
Take confidence in knowing that confrontation, coaching, correction, acknowledgment, and encouragement are all essential aspects of leadership. When performed well, these types of communication and engagement can positively communicate needs and expectations. They can help you improve performance and grow relationships and trust with colleagues, coworkers, and personal relationships — even parenting! Learning to embrace these communication essentials will inform your team, inspire and grow you as a leader, and create better communion within your organization.
If you got to the end of this article, keep up the great work! You clearly have a heart for inspiring healthy communication and expectation transparency within your teams! You are going to do great things!
Long Live the Adventure,
As we move through the first month of the new decade, I hope that the intentions and goals that you set for yourself are off to a supernatural start. This month, I find myself reflecting on 2019 and the last decade as a whole. I'm also looking toward the horizon of this new decade thoughtfully, as I prepare for the personal and professional development work I will do in 2020. Part of that work is identifying some of the books I plan to read this year. As I was adding to my ever-growing Goodreads Wish List, I took a quick look back at the books I read and listened to in 2019.
I try to read an average of two books a month. I like to listen to audiobooks and read hard copies, based on the book. Sometimes, I'll listen to a book, and it's so filled with nuggets of wisdom or inspiration that I'll purchase it in hardcopy and read it again. This way I can have an additional chance to absorb the content and take notes in the margins. If a book is truly exceptional, I'll start a book club or look for a workbook. One of the books I read in 2019 was so good and relevant to our business, it was my fourth time reading it. In 2018, I read four different versions of "The Art of War," each offering a different perspective. You might not believe that an ancient Chinese general's timeless classic could have such an impact, but it's worth your time to check out at least one of the translations of this book.
While most of the books I read are in the professional or personal development genres, I'm not gonna lie, I do throw in a work of fiction every now and then, just to mix it up. Such books might not change your life, but they may bring a little laughter or distraction to your day, and hey, every now and then, we need a little fun, for no reason other than that, FUN!
In 2019, I read some amazing books and kissed a few frogs. Perhaps in this new year, you want to read more, or you're looking for ways to gain specific knowledge abourt your business, or home life goals. Below is a list of my book highlights of 2019, as well as a few extras that I've read over the years. These extras I consider a MUST-include in my Top Fave Book List for any year. I left out the lowlights, and books that didn't rock my world because I'm not a professional critic and just because a book didn't strike a chord with me, doesn't mean it won't resonate with you. If you are curious about a bestseller that's not listed here, shoot me a message, and if I've read it, I'll be happy to let you know my thoughts. If you've read any of the books listed below - or as you read them - I'd love to hear what you think. And please let me know books you're reading that are a must, because I may not even know about them yet. Happy reading, y'all!
Memoirs / Self-Discovery
Good Ole Fashioned Fiction
Since retiring from World Wind & Solar, I've had more time and find great joy in encouraging others. I hope that some of these books may serve as an encouragement, inspiration (and maybe a few laughs) for you!
NOTE: The book images are linked directly to their Amazon pages for your convenience. For more recommendations, reviews and to check out my Wish List for 2020, follow me on Good Reads.
It's the final countdown! (yes, I am singing Europe in my head right now)
It's currently December 30th and there is one full day remaining in 2019. 364 days of this year are over and we have 1 day left to prep for the start of 2020.
Since we've been talking a lot about goal setting lately, I wanted to take a few minutes to detail what I've been doing to get focused on 2020. My hope is that it may help some of you get inspired. Below is a quick and dirty summary of my 2020 gameface workout.
Rachel Hollis's Last 90 Days Challenge:
- Goal Setting
- Start Today Journal
- 5 to Thrive
You can do this anytime! It doesn't have to be the last 90 days of the year!
Developed a Disciplined Morning Routine
In addition to the 5 to Thrive mentioned above, I've incorporated the following:
Pray - I start my routine in prayer everyday. It helps me to center my heart.
Bible Study - I read a passage from the bible
Meditate - I operate in a lot of chaos, so incorporating meditation into my morning ritual, and throughout the day, has been a huge blessing.
I do my gratitude journaling, workout and try to drink as much water as possible in the morning, so I'm starting my day off on the right track to completing my 5 to Thrive.
Over the Past Week
That's it ya'll! Yes, I've been prepping for the past 90 days, but checkout what the past week has entailed. This is SO doable! I'm encouraging you to start tomorrow, but you can do this anytime. It is ALWAYS the right time to decide that you have a calling on your heart and to spend time loving and bettering yourself. Living intentionally will not only improve your own life, but will positively impact the lives of others around you. This is not selfish. I repeat, this is NOT selfish. This investment in yourself will have immeasurable rewards. Now, go out there and live the life you were made for!
Long Live the Adventure!
We're a family who loves living life to the full. We try to live each day with intention in an effort to find gratitude, seek wonder, show love and a experience a ton of laughter.