Nov 14, 2018
Difficult conversations are part
of the leader’s job when it comes to creating a strong
organization. In this episode, Jim and Jan share the tools
they recommend to make these unavoidable conversations a little
easier. In this episode, they answer listener questions all based
on the topic of difficult conversations: The pitfalls of avoiding
them, how to plan for them, and how to prevent the need for them in
the first place.
[2:20] We tend to try and avoid
difficult conversations that may lead to conflict. Sweeping
problems and conversations under the rug may lead to loss of money,
time, and employee morale. Team members look for their leaders to
be firm about upholding standards, and when they don’t see that
occurring, they may leave for a place that does.
[4:41] When approaching a
difficult conversation, we must know the questions we want to ask,
and have clarity on how we want to frame them.
[4:53] Good leaders set
expectations before emotions run high.
Q: How can you
have the difficult conversations to build the person up and turn
them around without ticking them off? A:
This gets at the heart of
leadership - balancing both results and people. It is important to
give encouragement frequently from the start, and earn people’s
trust to accept constructive yet difficult dialog.
[11:16] You can coach or train
people just about anything, but there’s a cost / value curve. It
takes time, resources and effort.
Q: What do you do
when someone doesn’t follow your advice? A:
Ask questions regarding what isn't
working, and figure it out together. It shows you have an intent to
solve the problem rather than just cast doubt or blame.
[18:14] Strong leaders take the
time to gather facts and ask questions before jumping to
Q: How do you
handle divas? A: It depends on the diva! Do they ascribe to the
core values, and produce results? We may be able to provide
flexibility and leverage their skills, but they don’t get a pass or
special treatment on how they treat others.
[23:45] Leaders must take a look
and see if they are creating divas from the inside out.
[26:38] Good leaders set crystal
clear expectations on both the performance and behavior
[27:23] Jim admits that even he
has been a diva before, but Jim suggests an alternate way to look
at it is a rule breaker. It’s important in the following three
areas to look to see if maybe it’s the organization's
responsibility that would benefit from a change : Relationships,
Results, and Rules.
[30:46] Take a look at your
calendar, and look at how much time you are spending developing
relationships. There is a correlation between how much time you
spend doing this, and the time you worry about having difficult
much pain and suffering can be avoided it we had these difficult
the difficult conversations before emotions run high.”
- “Being nice is not enough, we have to produce
- Brilliant Jerks are Energy Vampires
- “Leaders need to make sure they set their
employees up for success.”
leaders set the stage for difficult conversations by catching
people doing well.”
Ep 027: Positivity & Performance
Ep 047: Insights on How Individual
Self-Awareness Affects Team Performance
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