Have you ever avoided a tough conversation, that you know you should have?
We all have. Unfortunately, when we don't deal with them, they tend to fester and problems get worse.
Keep reading to learn how to create a plan to get you through "that" conversation in a way that feels authentic and confident!
Let me start with a story:
I have a decision to make today…..ok…let me rephrase that. I’ve made a decision, now I need to communicate it to someone, and I’m not looking forward to it.
❓️Can you relate❓️
Do you have a conversation you need to have with someone and are dreading it? 😩
Having tough conversations takes discipline.
You need the self-control to do it, even when your inner self is screaming:
Your inner voice keeps you small!
To shush that nattering voice that keeps you lacking the courage to deal with the thing with integrity you need willpower.
Willpower is that inner will that will tell all that negativity to be quiet so you can awaken that courageous you that is hiding quietly in the background.
Having a tough conversation takes willpower!
And here’s the truth: You need to strengthen your willpower so you can handle that tough conversation and get done what matters most!💪
Here's how willpower & tough conversations fit together
Let look at the components of willpower as they relate to difficult conversations. Willpower is the ability to:
💥manage your thoughts.
💥manage your emotions.
💥resist urges and distractions
💥focus on what matters most!
Imagine being a leader who can keep your thoughts and emotions in check and handle a tough conversation with courage, confidence and integrity!!!🙌
Let's back up a moment
Imagine the next tough talk that you have coming up.
My guess is several things could come into play.
Now, let's look at how your willpower, or lack of willpower may come into play. When you think about how you define it as a tough conversation, consider:
🔹What thoughts come up for you?
🔹What emotions are connected to those thoughts?
🔹Where might you allow yourself to be distracted?
🔹What urges do you have about that meeting?
🔹What will be important about focusing during that talk?
👉️Thoughts, feelings, resisting urges and distraction and focusing, all of the components of willpower are all going to play a role in that tough conversation. It will be your inner discipline or willpower that will help you stay engaged in a conversation when you don’t feel like it;
You need a plan!!!! 👇️Here's how:
The best way to stay authentically and courageously in that uncomfortable conversation is to pre-plan. You need to know ahead of time:
You, my dear, need to have a plan to use your willpower wisely.
✏️Here’s your homework.
Identify the next difficult, tough or challenging conversation you have.
If you need help strengthening your willpower and creating your plan to handle that next tough talk with your integrity intact, then join The Training Library. You will be able to attend the upcoming Webinar: How to prepare for a tough talk so you can handle it with integrity It's on Sept 25th at 12:00 MDT. If you can't make the session, it will be recorded and sent out after.
Do you work with a bunch of women? Do they sometimes drive you nuts?
I walked into an all-female meeting a while back and immediately knew it was going to be an hour full of sarcasm, snide comments and passive aggressiveness. And I was right! OMG! They cut each other off, spewed darts at each other as they spoke and refused to "play nice." I just wanted to shake them all and say stop! Can't you be nice to each other?
We work in a predominantly female sector
The majority of people that are employed in the non-profit sector are women, so my guess is you work with a lot of them. I'm also going to venture a guess that you find them "emotional" and that those displays of emotions get on your nerves. I'm curious who's driving you crazy today? Your administrative support, your boss or the team lead? Maybe it's the whole dang team!
Your mood today plays a big role!
Here's the thing, how you are feeling, your mood, affects how tolerable you are of their behaviour.
Your mood impacts how their attitude affects you!
This is what it can look like instead
Coming from a place of compassion and feeling a bit more patience may allow you to address the issue, rather than the person. I am NOT suggesting you let things slide and allow people to be rude, ignorant and disrespectful.
Don't take their comment personally
This is what you can do to deal with moody women on your team
One sure way to find the patience for dealing with other women: Choose your mood. Tune into this Ted Talk to hear the science behind this idea. But here's the thing, you can change your mood. You can lift yourself up, and, it doesn't take much time.
🎶 Mambo # 5 🎶
🎶 Pump up the Jam 🎶
🎶 Rock around the Clock 🎶
Are you smiling?
You didn't even need to HEAR the music, and I know already I've changed your mood! You are hearing the songs in your head...the beat..the tune..the energy. Makes you want to dance, doesn't it? Are you humming?
Boost your mood!
If that's not enough
I get it. This is in some ways only a temporary fix. The reality is that ongoing negativity and moods in the office can turn things toxic pretty darn quickly. Here are a couple of more resources for you.
But always, start with you! Take responsibility for YOUR mood! Trust me that will have a ripple effect!
Has this ever happened to you? You know something is wrong, but you don't do anything about it?
But you don't do anything about it.
Why don't you, or so many women, address these issues?
Before I answer that question, let's look at an example of a woman who is no longer staying quiet about injustices faced by her and other women in the fundraising sector.
Last week Elizabeth LeClair courageously wrote an article for CBC News addressing an issue that had been festering in her heart and mind for years. Read the article here:
Why did Elizabeth come forward now?
What changed? What gave her the courage and confidence to do that?
I don't know. But let me take a guess:
Having the courage to address moral issues can be scary and challenging. We see people have moral courage when something shifts for them.
Is there something you have been holding back on addressing?
What needs to shift for you? Do you need to develop more confidence, connect with other supportive people, get clear on what your values, morals and ethics are, spend time on personal development or is there something else?
When will you take action to grow yourself,
so that you can address the issues that's been aggravating far too long?
Think of it this way:
If you keep waiting for things to change, they won't. Nothing changes until you change. That may be learning something new, changing your perspective, changing how you interact with others or even changing jobs. But if you keep waiting, you will continue staying, stuck, right where you are!
What would happen if you decided to try something different?
Use Elizabeth's example as inspiration for you:
I suspect that Elizabeth decided she didn't want to stay stuck in that place of inner turmoil any longer. She decided to try something different. I'm certain that took time. But somewhere along the way she started the process of growing herself and making an internal shift that allowed her to take external action. She explains in this article:
Start now, my dear. Take the first step, whatever that step is for you, to being to grow yourself from the inside out. Equip yourself with the confidence and knowledge to address whatever issue is facing you. It won't be easy. But there are a ton of other women cheering you on, me included!
Are you happily married? Be honest!
Is your marriage going good or is it ready to fall apart? If you are still happily married you are in the minority these days. The question is then, how do you keep a strong marriage in spite of everything else you’ve got going on?
Last weekend, I’m sad to admit, I lurked around the aisles of Walmart to see whom a guy we knew was really with. Ernie and were shopping and we’d seen him at a distance. It looked like him, but it didn’t look like his wife. A minute later I discovered, it was, in fact, not his wife that he was on a little shopping excursion with. Before long, I was doing a bit more sleuthing through Facebook and discovered yet another couple in our community that had separated.
We are shocked
Ernie and I have lost count of the number of our friends, neighbors and people in the community that have broken up. We are often flabbergasted when it is someone who’s been together for years and years. It seems to be such a regular occurrence.
Isn't it supposed to be "for better or worse?"
I mean I get it if there is something really wrong. But what happened to “til death do us part” and “for better or worse”? Are we not supposed to work things out and hang on through thick and thin?
I've seen the worst, and don't like it so much
Let me tell you, we have seen the worse! Together Ernie and I have dealt with our own disagreements, financial challenges, parenting difficulties, mental illness, sick parents, trouble with the law, family feuds, horrible bosses, unplanned pregnancies, vehicle accidents and the list goes on. It has not always been easy. The truth is sometimes in our marriage, it’s been downright nasty. Yet, we stuck through those times.
I much prefer the better
Even bigger than that, we’ve seen the “better side”. On more than one occasion, together, we have watched the sun set over the lake on the most beautiful, calm evening. We have been privileged to see our son throw his daughter up in the air and hear her giggling, out of breath, saying “Again Daddy, again!” We have travelled the country together as proud parents to dance and Tae Kwon Do competitions and to basketball and baseball tournaments. We helped our kids see their dreams come true, from buying a guitar, to buying a house. Ernie and I have sat together, as best friends, night after night at the kitchen table or one the deck sharing the experience of our lives jointly. I couldn’t do it without him.
The challenge though is when everything else gets in the way
Yet not everyone makes it. You might be one of those ones he is hanging on. I commend you for that. Faced with grueling challenges at work, the stuff we have to deal with as we raise our families and our own inner battles around weight, confidence and household duties, there is little left over for our marriage. But we need to figure out how to make our marriage one of the parts of our lives that gets attention.
I've been learning about this for a while now
Ernie and I are celebrating our 27th anniversary this week. We will once again spend it camping together; focusing on giving back to each other. Here are 3 things I’ve learned about creating a successful marriage in the last 27 years.
3 Strategies for strengthening your marriage:
1) Respect him and his situation
As a leader, you have a lot to deal with. No matter what your partner does for a living, so do they. It may not be the same challenges that you are faced with, but it is their challenges. Respect where they are at. They have bad days too. They get overwhelmed, stress and may feel exhausted at the end of their day.
Ask them about their day. Express interest in their incidents for the day and the worries they are having trouble letting go of. Let them dump. Allow them to vent. Be a listening ear for a few moments. It shows you care, both about their situation and about them. Allowing them to let go of their day puts them in a better place. They might also then be in a better place for you to then turn to you and let you do the same.
2) Ask for help
Don’t expect your partner to read your mind. It’s not gonna happen! Tell them what you need. Don’t demand it. Don’t insist. Ask. Here I am really talking about the over and above normal things. Perhaps you have a daily routine, a division of chores and responsibilities that sorta works. Then one crazy day, you just can’t handle your end of the bargain, just because you’ve had a really bad day. Ask your partner to pick up pizza on the way home. Ask for him to bath the kids, take the dog out, wash dishes, give you 20 minutes piece or sit and listen to you. Ask. He won’t know what you really need until you ask.
3) Offer help
On the same token, there will better days for you, and worse days for him. Give to him those days. Offer back whatever you can offer. A little extra sleep, a neck massage, a special dessert, extra time for him at the office or a listening ear. Whatever it is that you can give back, do. He won’t ask for it either. In fact, he may not even know that he needs it. Use your intuition to guide you.
Marriage is a give and take
There will be times when you are the one giving and other times, receiving. It may seem very unbalanced, for long periods of time. That’s just the way it is. The awareness though is what will help to bring the balance back sooner. Lean into each other often. Lean in through the delightful times and through what seems like merciless times when you aren’t sure how you are going to make it.
What is one thing you can do today to strengthen your marriage? Share below so that you can get other people motivated and inspired in growing their marriages as well.
You know this already: Avoiding tough conversations does not resolve them. It only leaves them to worsen and often leads to deteriorating the effectiveness of your team.
It is not always easy to engage in these tricky exchanges. However, if you are a leader who knows that to reach your organizational goals, you must learn to manage those tough conversations, then keep reading.
Jennifer (not her real name) came to a coaching call infuriated with her boss. Jennifer was a middle manager and found herself entangled in a triangle of sorts with her boss, herself and her team. Often her boss would undermine Jennifer in meetings. He would make a decision, without knowing all the facts, and announce it before conferring with Jennifer.
By the time we got onto our Coaching call, this had happened numerous times. Jennifer was noting not only how much it triggered her anger, but also prompted ineffectiveness in the team. The team didn’t know whom to believe anymore. Some staff members, who were loyal to Jennifer, kept doing things the way Jennifer had previously instructed them to do so. Others followed the big boss’s style. As such, it was all a big mess! Worse, Jennifer felt undervalued and unsupported.
Through coaching, Jennifer was able to get reconnected to why she needed to engage in this potentially intimidating conversation with her boss. She was passionate about her staff members being supported and wanted them to have solid supervision.
Jennifer also realized that in a “perfect” situation, her boss would recognize incongruences in messaging and deal with it himself. However, life isn’t perfect. She knew she needed to be the one to tackle the problem head-on. She did just that. She arranged a time to meet with her boss and shared her concerns.
Now, of course (remember this isn’t a perfect world), he didn’t quite see the story the way Jennifer did. He did though become more aware of checking with Jennifer before he issued new standards of practice. For Jennifer, she felt more confident and sure of herself. Stepping into the arena, she found she could fight her own battles rather than hoping it would magically disappear.
I bet you can relate
Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, sandwiched between frontline staff and management. Other times you may have found it is the supervisor who isn’t dealing with their staff, and you see the mistakes happening. In that place, the tough conversation needs to happen with your subordinate, encouraging them to handle their reports more effectively. It could also be peer-to-peer where your co-worker is stirring the pot, causing havoc on the team.
The Steps to Handling Tough Conversations
When you realize there is a storm brewing and you know it’s not going away, it is probably time to wrestle the tough conversation yourself. Below find the steps that will assist you in moving through the challenge.
Taking the Bull by the Horns puts you back in control
Dealing with challenging exchanges is not always easy. I encourage you, however, to take the initiative. You will no doubt need to find your confidence and courage to engage in these conversations. By moving through difficult conversations rather than avoiding them, you will find your team more effective. Additionally, you will discover that you can enjoy your work more as well.
Monthly Webinars for Women leading in 🇨🇦Canada's NONPROFITS
Preparing for a Tough Talk so you can handle it with integrity
Learn to tackle tough talks with your integrity intact!
Aug 15th, 2019 12:00 - 1:00 MDT
Available on Amazon
Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.