We all get that feeling of ugh when we need to have ‘that conversation’ with someone in the team. Instead of nipping it in the bud, we find excuses to put it off – which just lets the ugh feelings grow.

Why does the long, drawn-out pain of anticipation seem better than the pain of actually doing something?  Why is it easier to shrink than to face our fears and do what has to be done.

It’s because we get too caught up in our own needs and emotions, instead of focusing on what our team needs. Being a gutsy leader means respecting your people enough to tell them what they need to hear (respectfully, of course).  It also means respecting yourself enough to do what needs to be done.

Of course, if you’ve invested in professional intimacy, then those conversations wouldn’t be nearly so hard and the ugh feelings would go away.

Our Insider Tactics

Here are My Personal Tactician’s top tips to help you get your head out of the sand:

  1. Think about short-term versus long-term pain from both your own and the other person’s perspective – list the impacts on both of you and you’ll soon see that it’s actually a lot easier to act than you think.
  2. Take some time to plan for the meeting (use our conversation planner here)
  3. Don’t put off setting up a meeting to talk about the problem, if you’ve invested in professional intimacy the meeting invite won’t be alarming
  4. Be bold and make your expectations clear – and be specific about the consequences of not meeting them. Make sure you keep some written notes – just in case you need to take this further.
  5. Stay focused and follow up when you said you would.
  6. Give your HR team a heads up and involve them if there’s any chance of it becoming a formal performance or discipline issue.

The issue won’t fix itself. Having ‘that conversation’ can be tough, but not as tough as living with the consequences of doing nothing. You don’t want a protected species in your midst!

To discuss putting any of our tactics in place, contact us