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Navigating Difficult Conversations With Your Employees

Transcript 

Kathy (host):  

Well, hello there and welcome back to Help! My Business is Growing, a podcast where we explore how to grow and build a business that is healthy and sustainable. I'm your host, Kathy Svetina. 

 

Kathy (host):

You know behind any successful growing business is a great hard-working team that helped to make it happen. And naturally, as founders and managers, it's our job to ensure that our team members are happy, and stay motivated, and get along with each other. But unfortunately, that's not always the case. And sometimes we have employees who might not be performing as well for various reasons. There might be conflict. They may not meet company expectations, or their personality is just no longer a good fit for the company culture because the company grew, and we've all been there. Knowing that these issues need addressing, we are reluctant to sit down and have that difficult one on one conversation with the employee. It can get awkward, your employee might not be ready to face the truth of the situation, and you might not be prepared to handle an emotionally charged and uncomfortable discussion. But you know, as much as these conversations are challenging, they are necessary to ensure that smooth operation so that your business can grow and be healthy as it's growing. And also these types of conversations are an opportunity for personal and professional growth and development, both for you and for your team. The question is, how do you manage difficult conversations with employees? And how can you make these conversations effective and productive? 

 

Kathy (host):

And just a quick reminder, all the episodes on this podcast, including this one, come with timestamps for topics that we discussed, and they have their own blog post as well. You can find the links and the detailed topics of this episode in this episode show notes. 

Kathy (host):

Our guest today is Ron Reich. He's a trainer and coach with almost three decades of experience working with some major organizations, focusing on leadership and management development, corporate training, and organizational development. He is also President and Founder of our RLB Training and Development and has worked in many industries, including medical manufacturing, high tech, retail pharmaceuticals, and banking. He is also a well-respected and sought-after faculty member of the American Management Association, and he's going to help us unpack this. How do we make those difficult conversations with employees that we have to have? How do we make them effective and productive? Join us.

 

Kathy (host):  

Welcome to the show, Ron,

 

Ron (guest):  

Thank you. It's really good to be here.

 

Kathy (host):  

I am so glad you're here too, Ron.  And we're going to be talking about a really, really important topic. And that's how to handle and have challenging conversations with your employees, and figuring out how to do this is an important part of leading a team. But I think that this is especially challenging for growing companies. And that's for two reasons. One, because the owner hadn't learned how to be an effective leader just yet, and two, because there's a lot of change going on. As the company grows, there's more need to have the system, processes, layers, and rules, and then it doesn't have this free for all types of feel anymore. And employees can get resentful of that, especially if this anything goes operation has been going on for years, and now we're purposely designing the rules of the game, so to speak, to support the future of this growth. To start us off with this topic, I want to ask you. If a company is going through a significant amount of change or knows that they'll be going through a significant amount of change, what will be the best approach to go about it so that we can minimize this pain on the owner and on the employees?

 

Ron (guest):  

Kathy, I think it's about an organization developing an identity for itself. Essentially, what I mean by that is that it's been my direct experience that organizations with a very solid vision and mission statement put themselves in a much better position to compete. Also, just so their employees can work well with each other so that they can work well, really, with anybody within the organization, particularly the senior leaders as well. And I mean, I'll add to that, if I may, it's a vision statement, for me, at least, is the guiding light off of which people make decisions. 

 

Ron (guest): 

As an organization grows, if people don't have that Guiding Light, they're just going to make decisions and say, "Well, I think this was the right thing to do. So we'll do it." And all of a sudden, the executive vice president or the owner, whoever it might be, "Wait a minute, wait a minute, that's not the direction in which we want to go out." You should have done and said, "Well, nobody told me." There's no vision there. There's just no direction if you will. I think that's a critical starting point.

 

Kathy (host):  

I know a lot of them, especially the smaller companies, the companies that I work with. They're between 1,000,000 and 10 in revenue. They think of vision and mission statement as something that it's only for large corporations, not something that applies to them. How would you take that vision and mission statement to apply that to the smaller companies? And how would you actually go about creating one? Is there any difference between the bigger and smaller companies when you do that?

 

Ron (guest):

Number one, to create the vision and mission statement, as you and I were talking just before the show a little bit, one of the best resources out there of which I'm aware, and I use it all the time, is a book called The Advantage. It's written by one of my favorite authors, Patrick Lencioni. He just talks all about in the book itself how to develop a vision statement and a mission statement. And just to kind of just work off of that. Small organizations need this, as well as big organizations. There's just no two ways about it. I mean, I helped a small technology firm. Almost identical to how you were describing some of your clients when you first started. They probably had about 100 employees. They were growing, and they needed to put some structure around the organization because it was becoming a free for all. It was it really, really was. And by developing the mission and the vision, now people have something off of with it's tangible, again, their guiding light off of which they can make decisions because the CEO, the owner, should not be making all of these decisions and neither should the senior leaders. The other people in the organization need to be making important decisions except again. At least now, they can think about, "Okay, how is this decision driving us forward or taking us toward our vision or mission?"

 

Kathy (host):  

I know that you, you went and suggested this book, The Advantage? If someone is trying to implement that in their business, are there any steps that you have seen are universal across most of your clients when they're trying to do the vision and the mission statement? What are the steps that they need to go through to develop those?

 

Ron (guest):  

Number one, and truly, Kathy, I'm not trying to be self-serving here. I hope you believe me, because I'm really, really not. You need an outside facilitator to help. The reason they and the process that has worked for me in the past, and I'll use this company as an example. 

 

Ron (guest):

I talked with Nick, the CEO, on the phone about developing the mission and so forth. I was like, "Nick. I'd like you to read the book The Advantage." "Okay, fine. I will." I talked to him after he read it, and his only response to me and our follow-up conversation was, "Get down here. Take us through it. This is fabulous." I also said to him, "Everybody who's going to attend the session, the senior team, and anyone else that you would like to be there needs to read the book beforehand, and that's a must; that's an absolute must." Because again, if you're going to be serious about this, ... the work has to get done beforehand, during, and after.

 

Ron (guest):

In the matter of two days, we developed a mission and the vision, which was wonderful. The thing I love about the book, too, though, in addition to developing those two things, it also gives exercises about how to develop the priorities for the organization in the next six months. We have our vision. We have our mission. Wonderful. 
 

Ron (guest):

Now that we have that, what are the major things we need to do in the next six months? Again, that's part of brainstorming and descending, and all the attendees come up with these things. Once that's done, the next piece in the process is what actually needs to get done. We're looking at the priorities high level; if you will, then we come down into the execution. What needs to get done, who needs to do it, which groups are going to be responsible for what, and then people step that's where the interaction becomes so important. I'm just taking this out of the air. That's where sales needs to be talking carefully with marketing. IT needs to be involved because it's like, "Wait a minute, wait a minute. We don't have the infrastructure to get this done yet. We can't do that." Those conversations need to take place.

 

Kathy (host):

Yeah.
 

Ron (guest):

Then, we develop timelines. When will we get these things done? Then you start working backward. And for me, that's the process. I'll tell you; I'd like to go in the other direction just for a second, Kathy, if you don't mind. And share with you a story about what an organization should do. 

Ron (guest):

I worked with an art gallery in Manhattan, and we had some great training, the CFO attended, and he's around, really enjoying this and everything else. We got to talking about the organization and said, "We don't have a mission. We don't have a vision." I don't remember his name. I was just gonna call him Mark. As like "Mark, read The Advantage. Let's talk about it afterward." "I will. I will. I'm going to. I'm flying to Colorado with my family for the weekend. We're going skiing. I'll read it on the plane." I tried to follow up with him. I guess two weeks later, after his vacation, he would not return my calls. He never got back to me.

 

Ron (guest):

I contacted my original contact at the organization, who was the finance director. I was like, "Martha; I have an idea what happened here. He read the book, right?" "Yes." And she's laughing. He came back, and he thought he could do it in his own right. She was, "Yep. He tried it. Yep. It was a nightmare. Yep." And again, the point being truly, ... you need an outside facilitator to guide these discussions just to keep things on track? Because otherwise truly, it can become, and I like your term Kathy, truly, it can become a free for all. Nobody wants that.

 

Kathy (host):  

Why do you think it's so challenging for when the leaders are trying to implement that on their own the vision and the mission statement? Why do you think it was such a nightmare?

 

Ron (guest):  

I think a lot of it is, number one, they don't understand its purpose. Again, it is just so simply explained. When you have major decisions to make, this is where you look. This is where you look at. I think they don't understand that. I think equally as important, or equally as prevalent, if you will, is that there are turf wars? Where it's just "Oh, no, no, no, no, no, if I have to look for this to make decisions. I'm giving up my independence, and I'll make decisions the way I want to make decisions." And it's like, No, no, no, that's not what this is. This is bringing everybody together. Because we don't want the silos."

 

Kathy (host):  

Yeah, exactly. I want to take us a little bit back because I don't think we've defined this so far. And I think this is very, very important. What is the difference between a vision and a mission? Because sometimes people think that it's the same thing, but it's really not, or they're not really understanding. What's the difference? I think it's very important for us to define what is actually vision, what is a mission? And how are they different?

 

Ron (guest):  

Yeah, yeah. A vision is something that should be easily, easily memorized. One, two sentences top. It should also be something that is impossible to attain. It's impossible to get there. For example, Johnson and Johnson's Vision at one point in time, frankly, I don't know if it still is their vision. At one point in time, though, I know their vision was, "We are here to eliminate disease completely." That's our that's our vision. That's impossible. You cannot get there. That's a good thing. Because if you get there, what happens? Where do you go? If you have fulfilled your vision. It's like, "Alright, there's no disease left. Now, what do you guys wanted?"

Kathy (host):

Yeah.

 

Ron (guest):

A mission is essentially the second level of the vision. This is what we want to do that's impossible. Therefore, what are some of the things that we can do in order to work toward them to work towards the vision?

 

Kathy (host):  

Do you have an example of mission statements that you could share with us?

 

Ron (guest):  

Yeah, actually. I worked for a-. This is going to be a departmental example. I worked for a pharmaceutical company in a management development was our group. And essentially, our vision was for everybody in the organization to be completely trained and completely educated, which was impossible to attain. Just impossible. Because nobody's ever going to be completely educated or completely developed, our mission was to be the number one provider of education and development and resources for all employees within the organization. I hope you can see the distinction between the two.

Kathy (host):  

Yeah, I do. I really do. But I do want to ask, why is it so important for the vision to be this impossible goal to get to? Is it more of like a scenario of you got to shoot for the moon, but if you land on the stars, that's still good. Good enough. Is that the type of thing?

 

Ron (guest):  

Yes, Kathy. That's exactly what it is. Because, again, if you reach your vision, where are you going to go? Where do you go from there? Again, I'm a big sports fan. I'm a big New York Giants football fan. If our vision is we want to win the Super Bowl five times, and we've won four. What happens if and when I doubt? It's still. What happens if we win a fifth? What do you do next? But there's just nothing there. It absolutely is. I mean, it's all about progress, progress, progress, not perfection. And you want to be trending in the right direction at all times.

 

Kathy (host):  

Let's say that now we have developed, we have our vision, and we have our mission statement; where do we go from there? How do we use it in an everyday type of situations, because I think where people get really hung up on to and what they what they have struggles with is that they develop a vision to develop a mission, and now it just sits in their drawer somewhere, and it gathers dust, and no one ever looks at it.

 

Ron (guest):

That's true. 

Kathy (host):

It's pretty. It's on these manuals, but it's like, "So what?" 

 

Ron (guest):  

That's right. Truly, then, again, just so accurate and so sad. One of the most important things that needs to happen very, very quickly, after the vision and the mission are developed. That's when it needs to be cascaded down; that's where it needs to be shared fully with the rest of the organization so that everybody understands it. 

 

Ron (guest):

They also understand what they're a part, isn't it? How do we contribute to this? How do we get to how does our department contribute to the vision and the mission, and then equally as important, even down to the individual level? How do I make a difference? Again, Everybody out there, I have to believe, knows about all the different generations in the workplace. One of the most important things, as I understand it, and based on the research I've done for the younger people in the workforce now- younger people, 20. Let's just say 25 to 32, whatever it might be. They want to know how they're making a difference, and if they don't know that, and the organization can't explain that to them. Watch out because you're going to be looking at turnover. 

 

Ron (guest):

My nephew is a good example of this. I know it's a tiny, tiny sample, and still, Mark is a mark of physical therapist, and he graduated from school, went out to Seattle, got a job with a physical therapy firm, and had no vision, no mission. Essentially what they were was a churn and burn type of situations like Mark. You will see 12-13 patients a day, that's the way it's going to be. I can't do that. I can't take care of and do my job thoroughly and see 12 or 13 people a day. It's not possible; I'm going to hurt people; that's the way it has to be. He lasted three months, and out the door, he went. Point being, we are here to take the best care of all of our patients. Okay. I'm just if that if that's the vision or and or the mission there off of what you make major decisions.

Kathy (host):  

That's a great example and very relevant now, especially in when companies kind of lose their way and start to think of just profits and cash flow. This might sound strange coming from a Fractional CFO who is very concerned about the profits and cash flow. But I'm also the focus has to be healthy and sustainable. Because if it that's that was a great example of a company that might be doing great financially, but it's not healthy. It's not sustainable. 

 

Ron (guest):

Exactly.

Kathy (host):

And especially when you have this huge turnover with the with people with employees coming in and out. It's really bad for the morale for everything else. Essentially, it's going to come out sooner or later. Come and bite you back because you will start losing money.

 

Ron (guest):  

Yeah. Well, I'd like to go back to what we were talking about before because, as we had said, the vision and the mission are developed. Now we need to take it down to the other levels. What worked well with the technology firm that I had mentioned earlier, is that I went back, and we did a day-long session with the organization. We took them through the DISC assessment. We talked, of course, all about the vision and the mission and how they fit into that. We did some brainstorming about how their departments fit into that. And then, we also talked about the importance of feedback and recognition, and how the managers need to be involved in that, and how everybody organizationally needs to be ready to accept feedback, and people need to be ready to have difficult conversations.

 

Kathy (host):  

And this is a great, great kind of call back, and our original conversation that we started this was like, how do we have these challenging conversations with the employees? And what I'm hearing here is that once you have the vision and the mission statement, that really supports those conversations because now everyone is on the same page. What are we really trying to do? We're not just doing this for the sake of because we woke up one day, and now we're implementing all these changes in the company. It's because there's a vision; there's a mission behind this. The reason why we're doing is to support this vision and the mission that hopefully, our employees believe in. And if they don't, then there might not be a good place for them, like you said. It supports this difficult conversation of change with the employees, correct?

 

Ron (guest):  

Oh, there's no two ways about it. And again, it's important, and I'm glad you brought this up. It's important that the senior leaders realize that not everybody organizationally will buy into this. You're probably going to lose some people based on this, and so be it. And I mean, I don't I don't mean to sound cold as "Oh, well, bye." It's like, "No, because the vision and the mission is going to help the organization to be sustainable." And if there are people who get it and just some individuals, "No, I want to work in a company where there are no rules. I want to work in a company where I don't have a boss." That's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just not going to be here.

 

Kathy (host):  

I see this all the time with the companies that I've worked with. Once we start implementing the changes, because we're trying to get to the healthy and sustainable company, that's always the goal. We start to lose people, unfortunately, and that is okay. Because as you lose the people, they're essentially a dead weight on the company. You make more room and more space for people that are going to be happy to come and work for you and produce what you need them to produce.

 

Ron (guest):  

Well, you know, if you've made me think of something here. I'm certified to teach the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Many years ago, other cubby people used to have a class called What Matters Most. It was a time management course. Within that session, the participants would develop a personal mission statement. Which, again, is an individual's Guiding Light. We talked about organizational Guiding Lights. This is your individual Guiding Light. 

 

Ron (guest):

We went through the class. At the end of the session, one of the district managers came up to me. She was from Philadelphia, and she asked to see me privately, and she was just crying her eyes out. She said, "You have changed my life today. I'm going to resign. I'm leaving." And I was like, "Okay, how so?" When she said, "Through this course, the mission statement has helped me to realize that I'm not being a good wife. I'm not being a good mother, and I'm not fulfilling what is most important to me in my life, and I need to leave here." "Wonderful, wonderful. I'm so happy for you, not that you're leaving us just that you've realized what's most important to you. Because if you're not being a good mom, and you're not being a good wife, then how can you be a good employee? Because you're not going to be happy here. It's best that you move on and find something that will work for you."

 

Kathy (host):  

Yeah, I love this story. Because I mean, it resonates with me personally, as well. Because before I started my own company, I was at an organization that just fundamentally. It turned out after. Unfortunately, a couple almost two years of working with them, and I realized that it's just not just not a place for me. It was better for me. It was better for them that we parted ways because it just wasn't working out, and you don't want people like that in your company.

 

Ron (guest):  

Oh, no, that becomes the cancer that becomes the toxic employee, and those are the ones with whom you're having multiple tough conversations. When that's happening, what does that say is like, "What I don't think this is working out, and I denied and no one that happened to me once. In a much shorter timeframe, actually then than your example Kathy. I lasted six weeks. 

 

Kathy (host):

Wow. 

 

Ron (guest):

I just realized very, very quickly is like, "I don't think so." I mean, it was just toxic. The way they were treating each other, the way that they were just spending their time, and just everything else. My point simply is, I was getting unhappy very, very quickly. I still remember. I was engaged to my wife at the time. I remember we had a meeting that lasted until about nine o'clock at night, which was just insane. Anyway, we leave the next morning, we get back and say, "Oh, yeah, when we get when we finish the nine o'clock meeting. Let's start this again. At eight o'clock tomorrow morning, we have more to talk about." I still remember Doug, the VP of Marketing, saying, "Yeah, when I got home last night, he was laughing. My wife was talking divorce." Everybody around the table laughed. And I was just like, "That's not funny. At least not for me. That's not funny. Because I'm not going down that path, I will not do it." Later on, as Senior VP of HR, I had a very difficult conversation. Truly, though, Kathy, it's like what you said before; it was better for everybody. Because what kind of employee would I have been? It's a win-win.

 

Kathy (host):  

That's true. I always like to go back into the tactical and very practical type of content here on this podcast as well. Let's say you have the vision and the mission statement, you starting to implement changes, and you realize that there's one or two employees that have just becoming, unfortunately, for lack of a better term, a dead weight. They become a lot more energy-draining, bring down the morale on in, in other in the entire team. You're going to have to have this difficult conversation of "Hey, things are not really working out." How would you prepare yourself as a leader? And how would you structure that conversation to be the most productive that it can be? And not to have, I guess, to be as emotionally charged as these types of conversations usually are, which can be extremely draining for everyone involved. How do you go and prepare yourself? And how do you actually structure that conversation to be in the best possible life that it can be?

 

Ron (guest):  

There are a couple of things. Number one, you're reminding me, and I hadn't thought of this in a long time, and I appreciate it. I mean that. There's a wonderful book out there called The Energy of Us. It's written by a guy named John Gordon, and it's just excellent. And essentially, what he talks about in the book is that I am the driver of the bus. I'm driving this bus as the department head, as the CEO, whatever it might be, I'm the bus driver. This is our destination. This is where we're going. This is our mission. This is our vision if you will. Turn back to the people in the seats in the bus. Everybody, you have seats on the bus. This is our destination. If any of you know a shorter way, or a shortcut in a good way, or a better route to take so we can get to our destination more effectively, tell me. We'll talk about it. I welcome your input. 

 

Ron (guest):

One thing, everybody, there are no vampires allowed on my bus, no vampires, because vampire is exactly what you said. They suck the energy out of the team. They suck the energy out of the organization. If you're a vampire, I am going to sit down, and I'm going to talk to you about your specific behavior that concerns me. "Kathy, I noticed in the meeting the other day, every single comment you made was sarcastic. Specifically, about the budget." "Oh, here we go again."  Ron wants to spend more money. "Kathy, I gotta tell you, those sort of comments drain me, and equally as important. If I noticed the people around the room just like what's going on with her? What's going on with her? She's always negative, whatever it might be. The key point is for these kinds of conversations and for any sort of feedback. The focus needs to be on specific, observable behavior. 

 

Ron (guest):

I'm a big fan - I'm not sure if you yourself know of Simon Sinek or any of the listeners. Simon becoming a well-known thought leader now in leadership, and he has a very simple acronym that he uses relative to feedback. He just calls it FBI, and you can use FBI in any order. The F stands for feelings. "Kathy, you made me feel uncomfortable. You made me feel disrespected during the meeting. And now comes the B behavior. When you said, "Ron, you don't know what you're talking about. Ron, your figures are wrong, again." It's the feelings, the behavior, and the I, or the implications, i.e. the consequences synonymous for me-consequences. The implications are this, Kathy, severalfold. 

Ron (guest):

Number one, you made me look bad, which is not okay. Number two, I do need to tell you, if this continues, we're going to need to have another conversation about this, and we're going to need to talk about if you really want to stay within this organization. I don't want you to leave; let's be clear about that. I don't except this behavior cannot continue. The key point here, I'm not judging you. "Kathy, you're disrespectful, Kathy, you're not a good employee? Kathy, you are-" No, this is the specific behavior that's on my mind or that I observed. And this is how, again, how it made me feel; these are the implications.

 

Kathy (host):  

This is a great example, Ron. Thank you so much, because it's very, it's very uncomfortable to have these type of conversations. It can be extremely painful. Because there are a lot of times, you're emotionally charged, and you don't really know what to do or like how even to handle it. This is a great example of how to use this - FBI,  in a way that it's productive. And it drives the point that, in this company, and for your expectations in the behavior, not just for your employees, but the way how you want to be treated by other people to really let them know, "Hey, this is not okay especially not at this company." And these are going to be the consequences if you continue go down that path. And it feels like it gives people a choice as well. You say this is not acceptable. But if you continue going down that path, if you don't change, this is what's going to happen. If you don't want this to happen, you're going to have to change.

 

Ron (guest):  

It's your choice. 

 

Kathy (host):

Yes.

 

Ron (guest):

And that's exactly it. It's your choice. I'm not being a jerk. I'm giving you- pick one. Stop the behavior and continue the behavior; there are consequences on both sides; one is good consequences. I'm not sure I want to say bad consequences because it's your decision. 

 

Ron (guest):

I'll give you an actual example, too. I was doing a course. In Boston number of years ago, a three-day American Management Association management course. Day one, everything went fine. We had 12 people in the room. On the morning of day two, this one participant Andy cursed three times when he answered a question. None of the three words my opinion, were so awful that it required a public resetting of expectations. Still in all three times. Lunchtime rolled around and said, "Everyone, please be back at one o'clock, whatever." He was the last one to leave the room. "Andy, can I talk to you for a minute before you leave?" "Yeah, Ron. What is it?" "Andy, I'm concerned because this morning, I heard you curse on three separate occasions when you answered questions. These were the three words, Andy, I heard you use a, b, and c (and I don't need to repeat them here.) It has my attention. And he because on several levels, number one, that kind of language can make people uncomfortable. It can also make people just "Hey, wait a minute, what's going on here?" And if I allow you to curse, I'm giving permission to everybody else in the room to use whatever kind of language they want. I'm going to ask you, can I count on you please to stop cursing?" "Ron, I will." And he did, and I appreciate that. As an example, though, and again, Kathy were a leading where I'm going with this and I don't need to dominate the conversation. I'm sorry. There's a quote that I love though. It comes from an author Susan Scott. She writes so simply, "You get what you tolerate."

 

Kathy (host):  

That's great. Yeah. True.

 

Ron (guest):  

You know what I mean? If I don't address that with Andy, what happens? Everybody can curse. You have the free for all potentially.

 

Kathy (host):  

Yeah. People learn people learn from other people as well. If they see that this is an acceptable behavior, even though it's not because you haven't, but you haven't voiced your opinion. You haven't voiced your expectations of how you want people to behave; you will soon see that other people might be going down that path. And that's when it just becomes it can just becomes deadly for a company. Because then you not only have one problem, then you might have 2,3,5,6 employees. It could just replicate.

 

Ron (guest):  

Yes. One of the key things that you just said is setting expectations. Because when expectations are clear, again. Nobody can argue. I mean, in the sessions that I do. I tell people right up front, "Everybody, please actively participate. Ask any questions that you have. Please talk to your colleagues, not to me when you're answering questions, because I want you to be talking to each other." And this is really my point. "Everyone, I need your phones on vibrate. No texting while we're in here. It distracts me, and it distracts everybody else in the room. If something comes up for you, and you need to take care of it. Absolutely take care of it. Please step out of the room. So you don't distract the rest of us. Do we all agree?" "Yes, Ron, no problem. " Boom! Done. And then, if somebody does text, I need to have a private difficult conversation except I set the expectations.

Kathy (host):  

You know Ron, this has been absolutely fabulous. I've learned so many things, and especially like to structure this conversation. But I always like to; I have this question that I asked every single guest. And that is, what is the one thing that if someone really wants to implement this in their business, especially in knowing how to do this thoughtful response and when to call people out in a very thoughtful and productive way? How can they learn that? What is the next thing that they can do a small step in the next week so that it gets them to that goal of being this thoughtful and responsive and leading with care and being proactive about how they want to structure that team?

 

Ron (guest):  

You know, I think there are a number of things in there. Number one, one of the best things any leader can do in order to be thoughtful and in order to be caring is to get to know himself or herself extraordinarily well. Because the better you know yourself, the more effectively you're going to work with other people. I know my strengths. I know what my limitations are. I know what triggers me at work. I know certain things that are going to set me off potentially. When I'm aware of those things, I can be more thoughtful and have the tougher conversations. The other thing that I would add to that is research is very clear on this. We work more effectively with people the better we know them, both personally and professionally. The better you can get to know your colleagues, the more effectively you'll work with them. Ideally, if and when you need to have a difficult conversation. It's gonna be a little bit easier because I'm talking to Kathy. I'm not talking to the Accounting Manager. I'm not talking to the CFO. I'm talking to a human being that I know.

 

Kathy (host):  

Great, great tips. Ron, thank you so much for being on podcasts. I really appreciate it. You gave us so many good foods for thought and good practical tips on how to handle and how to have these challenging conversations with employees. Thank you so much.

 

Ron (guest):  

Kathy. It was my pleasure. Thank you.

 

Kathy (host):  

Thanks so much for joining us. And I hope that today's episode of this podcast has made you ready to have those difficult conversations with your employees. Next week, we're going to be discussing your team and we're going to be chatting with Milly Christmann on how to maximize your HR infrastructure to help your growing business. Also, if you love this episode, all the timestamps show notes blog posts and links can be found at our website, newcastlefinance.us. It's a resource for you go ahead and use it. And before I go, as always, I do have a favor to ask if you listen to this on Apple podcasts. If you could please go to the show and tap the number of stars that you think the show deserves because it really helps other people find it. Thanks so much. Until next time!