Leadership Communication: 6 Steps to Handling Tough Conversations

It’s a given: Having tough conversations and communicating difficult topics is part of a leader’s job. But just like you plan for contingencies in your business, planning how you will communicate difficult messages can improve the ultimate outcome. It is seldom easy to share difficult news, but thinking through your approach in advance definitely can improve the process.

It’s human nature to avoid conflict; we’re wired in that way. I was talking with a leader recently about conflict and how he avoided conflict, which cost him time, energy, and negatively impacted relationships with others. The principle I shared was this: go toward the conflict. Our natural tendency is to move away from it and avoid it. It’s only through what might feel like “rupture” that “repair” can happen. That’s the upside of conflict handled well – improved relationships and trust.

Handling tough conversations involves two aspects: crafting a clear message and having the conversation. Here are six steps to prepare from SalesGravy.com…