Daily Connections Recap - 3/31/2020 - Tough Conversations

As we enter a period of renewal and change, Your Clear Next Step is committed to helping our customers make their businesses and workdays even better. We will be here to walk beside you, to listen, to connect, and to aid in your search for clarity. In doing so, we are offering a free, daily Zoom call, called Daily Connections, at 1:15pm (CDT) every weekday from 3/19/2020-5/1/2020.

These calls are a chance for us to share tips and discussion about relevant topics (working remotely, maintaining consistency in uncertain times, building relationships across geography, staying motivated, staying connected, etc) and network with each other to provide help and support during this time of change.

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us today! The next call will be Wednesday, April 1st at 1:15pm (CDT). Click here to join.

On today's call...

Sinikka shared a few tips about Tough Conversations

Tough conversations are hard.  Perhaps our most requested class is around Navigating through Tough Moments.  What’s a tough moment?  Any moment that we are not both primed to be our best.  And, my friends, we’re not actually primed to be our best right now.  Any of us.   Tough conversations can show up in all kinds of places…

  • with the fridge repair guy, who seriously needs to not touch extra stuff when he comes in the house
  • with your parents to get them to seriously, stay home.
  • with your teenager who is sure that “everyone else” still gets to hang together at friends’ houses
  • with a vendor or a business partner or a lender or someone to ask for grace or for payment or for a credit/refund, etc.
  • with the people in your house who just did that minorly annoying thing that doesn’t usually cause you to lose your cool
  • with the friend on Facebook who just posted something you disagree with
  • with your boss who just asked you to do something but their instructions were unclear or the ask feels unreasonable

 Here are some things to consider before your next tough conversation:

  • Make sure you know your why.  If you don’t have a good purpose, seriously, don’t add to the stress.
  • Brush up on your communication skills.  It’s critical, it’s hard, and it’s not about you – it’s about the other member of the communication!
  • Make it safe.  Consider the timing, the distractions, the space, etc. and make the conversation as safe as you can.
  • Find common purpose.  If they agree that your “why” is a good “why” then the conversation goes easier.
  • Be candid.  Now is not the time for sugar coating, beating around the bush, etc.  Own your piece, be clear and candid about what you need.

Here were some ideas and questions shared by the group:

  • Tough conversations are part of my job. And one thing I've noticed recently is that having though conversations are difficult if they aren’t emotionally grounded.
    • One of the tips that is in our tough conversations curriculum is to view everyone with Unconditional Positive Regard. This means we continuously view the person we are talking to with the absolute best regard possible, and we continue to remind ourselves that they are important and valuable. This will help you manage any frustration you feel as a result of the difficult conversation.
    • Another tips is to remember your why – this will help you focus your conversation and remember why you are having it in the first place.
    • A third tip is to make it safe - If the setting is not right to have the conversation in the first place, it won’t be successful. Sometimes there are better times, even for the most important conversations.
  • When I knew I needed to have a tough conversation I would tee it up in email first with the person I needed to speak to. Most of us don’t love surprises, and certainly not ones that could be tough to receive. Sending it in writing first helped give the other person time to prepare for  and start to process the conversation.
  • In situations when I'm being evaluated, I always find it helpful to have the “criticism” in writing, in addition to having the chance to talk about it in person, so that I can continue to digest it after the conversation is over.

Topics: COVID-19

Sinikka Waugh

About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! contactus@yourclearnextstep.com


Receive a weekly dose of inspiration in your inbox by signing up for our weekly newsletter