From the desk of Grace Lange,
Having hard conversations with people is the worst…
If you like having difficult conversations you must have some trick that everyone else doesn’t…
I was recently talking with my friend, Tara, on our podcast, and we chatted about how hard it is to have conversations with the people you care about, and especially at work. You have to go to work everyday and see those people, and there is no avoiding the awkwardness or hurt that it can cause.
If you are a leader in your organization you have probably had to have the unwelcomed conversation with one of your staff members about them not doing a great job, or needing to step it up, or you name it…. It’s hard.
Tara shared a story with me about a conversation she had to have recently with a team member who just wasn’t living up to the expectations they needed to.
She told me that it took her days to finally get the courage to talk to them…
Tara explained her tendency to sit and ruminate on the what if’s of the conversation, and she was so worried about hurting their feelings.
I asked her why she was so nervous for these conversations, when it is her job to help people be more successful in their roles, and she told me, “ I care about everyone so much. Hurting people’s feelings kills me inside.”
I think many of us are so scared to hurt other people’s feelings, but what if what we tell someone could change their life?
What if that little piece of feedback could help them level up and grow in their career?
Tara continued by telling me that she has had some amazing mentors in her life that have helped her change the dialogue in her head around having hard conversations…
Here are a few things she learned and put into use:
- Ask for permission when telling someone something hard, then lead with the good and potential they have.
- Your gut feeling is God.
- If you think something is wrong or if you are questioning whether or not to talk to someone about something that had happened, listen to your gut. God doesn’t just put those thoughts on your heart for no reason.
- When having hard conversations, don’t bring other people into it. It is about you, the other person, and God.
- Give yourself time to think things through before going into the conversation, but not too much time.
- When we sit and dwell on the conversation that needs to be had, it can eat away at our heart and our ability to think clearly. Sort of like decision fatigue, there can be conversation fatigue. Give yourself enough time to get clear on what needs to be said, and then have the conversation. Don’t dwell on it.
- Jesus had to flip tables too.
- We are made to have hard conversations. Do you think every conversation Jesus had was easy? Absolutely not. He had to share his side and fight for people to understand all the time. As long as we lead with love, God is with us.
In the end, we are here to serve others and to do things beyond our feelings.
Be vulnerable, don’t change your feelings, and lead with love.
When you have a conversation with someone you care about whether at work or at home, remember that the best conversations happen when you are vulnerable and truthful.
And maybe that conversation or advice could be the thing that changes their life…
Being open and honest is love.
And to hear more of this story from Tara’s perspective, check out our newest podcast: Courage and Conversations
Oh and don’t forget to grab your tickets to Breakfast & Bibles on July 29th!!