Best Practices for Difficult Conversations: Throw Away the Tell and Sell Approach

Leaders and Difficult Conversations:Throw Away the old Top Dog approach to communicating

Business leaders need to listen to their key audiences to determine how their communications are being received, understood and acted on (if at all). This can span the spectrum from simply asking questions to employees like –what do you need from management to be more productive and satisfied at work; or how effect are we in setting a vision and communicating policies; to outright asking how do they perceive the climate and their bosses efforts; or build a project team to conduct a workplace communication and satisfaction survey which provides data to create employee involvement teams to suggest solutions about your communications efforts and problem.

Keep “top of the mind “ that most employees have a high need for fairness when discussing personal performance and other sensitive issues. So always check with them for their point of view and do not assume you have all the information and answers going into the meeting. Be open minded and understanding of all the issues and work hard at getting agreement for solutions. Treating the employee with respect and dignity by actively listening displays your fairness and that have their best interest in mind. This style of Asking Questions,Listening and Problem solving will go a long way toward building trust. Throw away the old control and command model of conversing from a “top dog “ position of “Tell and Selling” just your solutions and point of view. Just by taking the time to meet face-to-face shows you respect him or her, and that you care about the outcome and their future success.

Coaching suggestion See–The C.O.A.C.H. Communication and Discussion Framework

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