When coaching an individual in relationship to their job, it’s not unusual to uncover a very real reluctance on the part of that person to confront their own challenges with those to whom they report. They come to realize that having specific conversations is the pathway to resolution however, anticipating that exchange becomes a wall beyond or around which they either just can’t or are very nervous with even the thought of doing so.
So obviously, the longer one remains stuck in this place of reluctance and even fear, changing the game to get them beyond this remains on hold. The outcomes can range from being a disgruntled team member sapped of energy and enthusiasm for their job leading to poor performance or … leading them to move on in search of a better place to work. Unfortunately, the latter solution is going to bring the problem with them for it is only the person who can push beyond the point of stuck and make things better.
What accomplishing the ability to confront challenging conversations requires is a different mindset.
That’s it! And what makes it simple is that it’s YOURS … something over which you have total control!!
Here are a few steps that can move you from where you might be stuck to where you want and need to be in order to move confidently into a conversation that stands to benefit you.
- Prepare yourself mentally
Anticipating the conversation to be negative and challenging is what can put you in the frame of mind to want to avoid it. Thinking about the good that can come from it and what that means to you and your success in the job and company really works to help you look forward to the exchange
- Prepare yourself for the conversation
Ponder these questions:
- Why do you want to have it and what do you want to accomplish?
- What is the role that you attitude has in creating the dreaded perception of it and what can you do to change that?
- What is the real issue and who have you made your opponent?
- What have you done, if anything, to contribute to the issue?
- Engage actively in the conversation
Changing your outlook toward the communication allows you to engage in it from the standpoint of interest and curiosity. Although you know how and what you think, being open to really ‘hearing’ is a great way to begin. Ask questions to enhance your understanding and then, with this clarity, you are able to respond in a way that explains a different view or opinion that you have.
- Work to achieve joint move-forward decisions
Having presented yourself in a non-confrontational manner and having truly heard the thinking and perspective of the other person you will have potentially created a cooperative ‘team’ that can now work together to devise resolutions to the issue. You are no longer stymied and all the while, making a positive impression that will serve you well going forward.
Remaining ‘stuck’ behind that wall is not going to lead to positive outcomes. Changing our perspective of most any situation can impact our reactions to it and the options that we see for moving forward. Of course, the ultimate choice as to what we do and how we handle it is ours. In the least, it’s worth a shot.