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Speak with Love

One of the beautiful things about training is that it sets you up for continuing to learn and reflect on your leadership journey. One of the biggest lessons I've learned is that clear is kind. Where that has come up for me in the past and where I support a lot of clients is during difficult conversations. In those moments, there may be heightened emotions or a difference of opinion. It's really important that those conversations not be avoided - they need to happen.

One thing that is super important when you're having difficult conversations is to stay true to the purpose of why you needed to talk to that person to begin with. For example, when you need to fire somebody, or when you need to deliver feedback that might not be received so well, there may be a difference of opinion in how things might go.

One of the most important aspects of these conversations is preparation. Give yourself time to get super focused on what kind of message you want to deliver. The more focused you are, the more clear you can be in your delivery, and the more you know that regardless of where the conversation might go, you can return to that clear message you've prepared in advance.

I have, early in my leadership journey, fired someone by using unclear communication. They didn't actually know they were fired, and they got pretty angry. They wondered, ""what do I do now? Do I show up to work tomorrow? Am I done? What's going on?"" I was trying to spare their feelings, but I ended up making things worse.

So, the bottom line? Always do your best to prepare, think about the feelings of others, and be as clear as possible.

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