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1 min readUncomfortable? Tell Them Anyway

by Guy Gage | March 20, 2016 | Business

A recent survey was conducted by the Harris Poll showing that, of the more than 600 managers participating, 69% admitted to being uncomfortable communicating with their employees in everyday interactions. Worse, 37% were uncomfortable giving direct performance feedback if they thought it would be received negatively. WHO ARE THESE MANAGERS?!

While there are very few who enjoy having difficult conversations with their people, it is necessary if you want them to be better. We already know that people accelerate their development when they have clear expectations and feedback. You have opportunity to have those discussions so that they know where they stand and how to move forward. Your negligence serves no purpose other than to avoid your own discomfort. That’s not what leaders do and it doesn’t help anyone else. It’s all self-serving.

So why are you so skiddish? I normally hear that you don’t have the time, you need more information, you’re still thinking about it, blah blah excuse excuse.

There are really only two reasons that create discomfort when having the tough conversations and both are fixable.

1. You don’t have a relationship with your people such that they trust you, your observations and your direction. Have you invested the time with them so that you really know them? Have you earned the privilege to say the hard things that need to be said?

2. You don’t know how to say the hard things so that, in the end, they thank you for your correction. Have you learned the skills to say the difficult with a balance of honesty AND respect? Do you know your people well enough to anticipate how to say things so they will hear you?

Since others depend on you to provide them the valuable sustenance they need to grow, step up and do the difficult. While you may think its optional and of little consequence when putting it off, you’re only fooling yourself and not helping them.

Having read this message, at least one person has come to mind that you OWE them an engaging conversation. Who is it? When today will you speak with them?

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