Avoiding Confrontation in the Workplace
We have all done it at some point: avoided addressing an issue due to the human dynamics involved.
Maybe the confrontation was with an employee, a partner or a family member in the business. Even though we know that life — and the business — will be better once we talk things through with the individual, we still drag our feet.
Maybe it’s time for a Fierce Conversation.
Susan Scott, author of the book Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time, tells us that people want to hear the truth, even if it is unpalatable. There is something within us that responds deeply to people who level with us.
“Our work, our relationships and our lives succeed or fail one conversation at a time,” she writes. “While no single conversation is guaranteed to transform a company, a relationship or a life, any single conversation can. Speak and listen as if this is the most important conversation you will ever have with this person. It could be. Participate as if it matters. It does.”
Susan offers three steps for having Fierce Conversations:
Step 1: Be Clear
Make a clear, concise opening statement. Name the issue, give examples, describe your emotions, clarify what’s at stake, identify your own contribution to the problem, indicate clearly your wish to resolve the issue and invite the other person to respond.
Step 2: Be Open
Inquire into the other person’s view. Really try to understand their perspective and don’t be satisfied with defensiveness or surface explanations. Keep asking for more, saying, “I see things quite differently.”
Step 3: Be Resolute
At the end of the conversation, make sure you’ve come to a resolution. Ask, “What have we learned? Where are we now?” Make an agreement and determine how you will hold each other accountable.
The key to a Fierce Conversation is to get things that are difficult to say out in the open in a way that provides a path forward.
* It means sharing your thoughts without labeling them as truth
and without judging the other person’s opinions.
* It means being in the moment and really listening.
* It means not being afraid to ask tough questions, then waiting
in silence for the answer.
Is there a tough conversation in your business you’ve been avoiding? Try turning it into a Fierce Conversation instead.
Business owners are no strangers to tough conversations, but if there’s one you’ve been avoiding, an On The Bus membership can help you find the best approach to having that Fierce Conversation. Connect with us to see if On The Bus Membership is right for you and your business.