Facing Hard Conversations With Confidence

We all have to work with other people. Whether it’s customers, real estate folks, employees, homeowners, you name it. For many of us, the hardest part about working with other people is breaking bad news. Many of us prefer to just ignore a problem and hope it goes away, rather than actually talking to someone about it and fixing it.

I’d like to share with you a practice that I use when addressing these kinds of issues. Let’s say that I have an employee named George. George is in charge of customer service, and we’ve been noticing that things aren’t going so well. I could approach George in a couple of different ways. The first option is what most of us would probably do. I could go up to him and say, “George, we have a problem. I need you to do better!” This method is unpleasant for the person saying it and the person hearing it. This is why everyone tries to avoid the confrontation in the first place.

The second method starts with the question, “How are things going?” Maybe I ask George what things are going well in his current position. I ask what things could be going better. Most of the time, George will bring up the problems all on his own. I never have to tell him what the problem is; he already knows what’s not going well. From there, we can have a talk about whether his strengths would be better used elsewhere, where that would be, etc. The problem is solved with everyone working together, instead of one person telling the other, “This is how it’s going to be, take it or leave it.”

When it comes to having hard conversations, I like to remind people to look at it from the other person’s point of view. See things from their perspective. How would a certain approach make you feel? If you can do that, facing the hard questions and the problems becomes so much easier.

For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 

 

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