I Need to Have a Hard Conversation: Micro-learning

Make feedback a winning habit on your team.
Needing to have a hard conversation come with the management territory. Having the right preparation and skills will ensure your message lands and you maintain a strong relationship.

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The preparation

To start, it is all about the preparation. Successful hard conversations are 90% about the prep work and 10% about the conversation itself. So be sure to give preparation the right amount of time, attention and care. 

First, ensure the feedback is the right feedback to give. Is it rooted in the success of the individual, team or company? And is it specific and impact driven? 

Second, have a goal for the conversation. What do you want to achieve? Does the person simply need to be aware of the feedback? Do you want to finish the conversation with an action plan? Have a goal. 

Third, prior to the conversation, take a deep breath and ground yourself. People often feed off of other’s energy. Calm yourself and your nerves before entering the conversation. 

The set up and conversation

There are a few critical steps in setting up and having the talk. These set up steps will help set you both up for success. 

  • Pick the right location: Ensure the person has privacy. 
  • Ensure right timing: Ask if it is a good time to give feedback.
  • Start the conversation with empathy: Start the conversation by stating that you are giving this feedback because you care about their success.
  • Be clear and direct: It can be tempting to sugar coat feedback. Doing that will only confuse them and ensure the feedback doesn’t land correctly or have the right impact. 
  • Give space for their response: Be sure to pause after the feedback to accept questions or clarification.
  • Follow up: The best hard conversations have consistent follow ups to ensure the feedback landed. A good best practice is to follow up the next day and 1 week after.

Micro-learning video

How Tandem can help

Looking to support your team with feedback in their day to day? Tandem is there with your team in their workflow to support feedback best practices. Get started here!