- Explaining why someone is not getting a promotion.
- Confronting repeating unacceptable behavior.
- Providing honest feedback on poor performance.
- Respectfully challenging a colleague or customer.
- Holding someone accountable for their output.
- Sharing tough decision outcomes.
- Delegating responsibility.
- Discussing a taboo issue like hygiene or dress.
- Thoughtfully saying no.
- Addressing opportunities for improvement.
- Explaining options in the face of adversity.
Leadership Principle One: Others First. Self Second.
- Be committed to seeing the other person succeed.
- Focus on the behavior or necessary changes, not the person.
- Be entirely focused on the conversation and the other person. Remove distractions.
- Arrange for a private setting.
- Speak only for yourself, not on behalf of people not in the room.
Leadership Principle Two: Difficult is Not an Excuse to Delay.
- We do more damage to others by not saying what needs to be said.
- The process of the conversation might not be pleasant or positive, but the end result can be.
Leadership Principle Three: An Adaptive Approach is the Only Approach.
- Honesty must be tempered with compassion and tact.
- Make decisions on what to say intellectually, not emotionally.
- How will I be helping this person?
- Will telling them this make them better in the long run?
- Why am I delaying telling them this?
- If I was in their position, would I prefer to know?
- How will they react? How do I know?
- Will they accept advice from me?
Leadership Principle Four: Find the Common Ground Quickly and Build From There.
- Find something early on that you both can agree on.
- Get them saying yes.
- Be preemptive by fostering relationships with people.
Leadership Principle Five: Goals and Values Guide Action.
- Be clear on the best possible outcome.
- Be specific with discussion items, needed changes, etc.
- Be clear on what company or organization value or belief is driving the need for the conversation.