graphic 'overcoming difficult conversations'

time to feedback dateAs leaders we widely recognise the need to have ‘adult’ or ‘tough’ conversations within our teams.  An open two way feedback environment is one of the core elements of a high performing team.

However have you ever noticed that with some people you feel a sense of apprehension prior to having these ‘tough’ conversations?  You internalise and go over in your head this difficult discussion making you feel tired and drained.

The chances are that you don’t trust in the response of the other person.  In your heart you worry that they will get upset, get angry or feel hurt.

The problem is if you bottle feedback up then you are doing damage to yourself and doing damage to the other person.

By internalising the issue you create stress and worry for yourself.

By avoiding the issue you have shown that you don’t care about the other person as you are not prepared to be honest with them so that you set them up for success.

Sometimes we think we are being nice when we don’t address the tough issues.  However in reality we are showing that we don’t care.

Leadership is about courage and authenticity and both require us to be honest and upfront.  Addressing tough issues builds trust as people know where they stand with you.

Sometimes you need to get past whether the other person will respond constructively.  Sometimes it’s important to have courage to be honest, irrespective of the response