Most leaders avoid, or attempt to dominate, difficult conversations.
Some distract themselves with other priorities while silently worrying about what needs to be said and how another will respond. Lacking confidence in reaching a win-win outcome, they procrastinate until the window has closed, promising themselves to act sooner next time.
Others, powered by frustration and determination, barrel in telling everyone how to fix the problem. Demanding immediate action, they leave without really hearing anyone or identifying the core issue.
Either way, the gap of miscommunication widens, trust is fractured, collaboration is diluted and business slows down.
But difficult conversations are only difficult because the relationship has been neglected to the point of difficulty.
Leaders must be supported to invest time and interest in building relationships with their people, long before difficulty arises. Encouraged to look beyond personalities and problems to connect, communicate and empower with awareness and emotional maturity.
When a leader develops unquestionable trust in their own ability to engage, no matter the circumstance, they will initiate and lean into any conversation knowing they have the skill, capacity and wisdom to co-create outcomes that are a win for all.