Having Tough Conversations

Whether it’s a performance issue or a situation of feuding employees, having difficult conversations is never easy, but avoiding these conversations will make the situation even worse. The longer you wait, the more problems will affect the workplace. As a leader, it is your responsibility to conduct difficult conversations and solve problems.

Watch Digging Deeper this week as Dennis talks about the importance of having difficult conversations with employees and shares tips to keep in mind as you conduct these challenging sessions. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.

Also, the next two cohorts of FBI’s Contractor Business Boot Camp are fast approaching. Please contact Charlotte Kopp at ckopp@familybusinessinstitute.com to learn more about the program and take advantage of the limited time early bird pricing. Thank you.

Please click here to download the transcript.

  1. This is the hardest thing for me to do, I know it has hurt me/company. As a small business(8 people) Can I delegate this?

    • Michael,
      Unfortunately, you probably can’t delegate this in a small business like yours. I suggest learning to act more timely on this than you might. The longer you put off corrective input, the harder it becomes to deliver, as your silence indicates tacit approval. Just like unloading a toxic long term employee feels good, so does delivering the tough and necessary messages. And, frequently, it is appreciated and positive change results! And, when the behaviors or performance doesn’t change, you have done your part and can feel better about the ultimate decision to terminate.

  2. I believe that performance issues extend from four major areas 1) environment 2) tools 3) training or 4) motivation. Open-ended questions are a great starting point for those employees who understand the need to improve. “What is preventing you from reaching your goals?” This approach engages the individual and prompts them to take ownership in the solution. If the issue is motivation and cannot be rectified, the manager needs to take action swiftly. At times, the performance can be traced back to a poor decision to hire – especially in a tight labor market.

    • David,

      Good thoughts! Certainly, poor hire decisions are common because it is difficult to judge someone who is naturally telling you what you want to hear. I think it is challenging, though to know when the employee fails you vs. when you fail the employee. I hear from our members that they want to take responsibility for the employee’s success, but often fail to provide the necessary (negative) feedback on a timely basis to guide the employee back into the behaviors that the company values.

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