If you missed the last episode on Tough Conversations at work, make sure you go back and listen to it here. Being supportive is an important first step to having tough conversations at work. Step two is where you may see yourself running off the tracks in a tough conversation. Step two is about being clear.
If you are like a lot of leaders that I coach, being clear may be a challenge. If you have a clear picture in your head of how things are supposed to go, you may assume that this same picture is clear in other people’s heads. It could be that you are a people pleaser who has anxiety at the thought of coming across as a mean person or you are worried that someone might not like you, so you downplay the situation.
The last thing that you want to do is create the space and time for a powerful conversation and then choose to interact in a weak, unclear way. Not only does it frustrate people but it diminishes the respect that your team has for you. When you lose credibility, you lose your team.