Handling Difficult Conversations with employees

Having a difficult conversation with an employee is not something any of us look forward to, but it is a necessary part of our job as a leader. A manager must embrace the good and the hard parts of the job in order to acheive success from their team.

When is it time to have that difficult conversation?

Waiting until the end of the year or the end of quarter isn't the right time. Our discipline of continuous feedback hopefully has instilled the need to provide positive and constructive feedback as soon as possible.

The quarterly and yearly reviews are a time to discuss the past period and an overview of all the conversations you have had over that period.

Address the problem in a timely manner. Right after you see it happen or within a day or two. It needs to be fresh.

Prepare yourself for discussion

Figure out what went wrong and why

Get the facts to help support your viewpoint

What can we do to improve the situation?

Be prepared for an emotional situation

Schedule the meeting as soon as possible

Have the "talk"

Be clear about why you are having the meeting

Stick to the fact

Ask for the employees side of the story

Help them learn

After care

Immediately after the meeting

Periodically check on the employee to see if they are on track

Setup your follow up meeting

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