Discussions & Demos

Give It to Me Straight - Continued

coaching conversations Sep 02, 2021

Okay, it’s time to become a straight talker.  Follow these four steps to get your difficult conversation off to a great start.   Once again, a StraightTalk Conversation combines candid words with a caring tone and is divided into the following:

  1. Tell the person what you’ve observed, making it less about the person and more about the facts. The key is to use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. Instead of saying, “You missed the deadline for turning in that report,” say, “I see that the report was delivered on Tuesday rather than Monday as we agreed.” Then …
  1. Describe how this observable fact makes you feel, again using “I” statements. “I see that the report was delivered on Tuesday rather than Monday as we agreed. I’m concerned because …”
  1. Describe the outcome if the situation doesn’t improve. “I see that the report was delivered on Tuesday rather than Monday as we agreed. I’m concerned because the president is expecting it on her desk tomorrow and my team had to rush to complete our part. I’m afraid that both of us will look bad if we miss the deadline.”
  1. Offer to help. Because you’re striving for a Collaborative Workplace, make it clear that you’re not here to cast blame. You’re here to help get the job done. This is the true spirit of collaboration. “I see that the report was delivered on Tuesday rather than Monday as we agreed. I’m concerned because the president is expecting it on her desk tomorrow and my team had to rush to complete our part. I’m afraid that both of us will look bad if we miss the deadline. How can I help to improve this process so we don’t end up missing the deadline in future months?”

What did I observe? How do I feel? What’s the impact? How can I help? Having this Straight-Talk Conversation script in your back pocket will boost your confidence going into difficult conversations and will prevent the person sitting across from you from becoming defensive.Try it the next time you need to have a tough conversation with a coworker.

 

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