Difficult Conversations.

Receiving and giving criticism are going to be one of the more difficult conversations you will have at work. Although these conversations can be uncomfortable, they are inevitable and will be some of the most essential conversations you will ever have.

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For most people, the month of February tends to be synonymous with the word “love”. And no one loves love like I do. Okay sure, I’m that same person that rolls my eyes at that couple in the bar is showing too much PDA but if I’m being honest with myself, it’s because I want to be that person that is caught up in romance and lust and…I digress. This is an HR blog after all.

So the thing that I really love about love? It’s that I can have the most authentic and real conversations when I know that love is reciprocated. When I’m not scared that the “love” could vanish by saying the wrong thing. That the conversations, no matter how difficult they are, will be heard.

At Elevated, we do thing called #lovenotes on Slack. This is our opportunity to showcase the awesomeness of our team and truly say thank you for being awesome. It’s not tied to points or dollars in anyway, so there is no incentive for saying “you did an amazing job” and that’s what I love about it. It’s just…genuine!

That said, we don’t really have a hashtag for the opposite. And there are days when I want to say, “Hey you really fucked that up” or “Are you for real?” and yet we can’t/don’t. It’s not so much about the public shaming aspect (I have to admit that makes my skin crawl) but if we truly love each other – why can’t we do that (not publicly of course?)

There is something about having a difficult conversation in writing that makes it more real. Some would argue, that’s the exact reason to do it. Others would say too much gets lost in tone. So it’s no wonder it’s avoided all together. But I have learned (and have preached for almost a decade now) that a difficult conversation / negative feedback is a gift…and the best gift to give to someone I love. The key is to frame it appropriately – to do it in the moment – and make sure that the feedback is absolutely necessary.

Record screech – what does absolutely necessary mean? It means that I’ve checked in with myself to make sure I’m not making up a story about the feedback that I “need” to give. That I’ve done the work and collected enough data to ensure its worthy to provide. And my go to moment when I know I absolutely have to have a difficult conversation? When I find myself disengaging with the other person. When I’m avoiding the person. And that’s when it’s the hardest. But t hat’s when I know shit is really real and if I really love that
person – I need to own it, do the work and fix it.

Look… I know “love” is a finnicky word. Some of us say it easily, others are more reserved. But if you truly care about someone, then having that difficult conversation is what will make you stronger in the end. If you want to learn some of our other tips on how to becoming a better leader, check out this blog post:

Leading a Business during a pandemic.

We can all agree that the world of work has had a major shift locally and globally. We have received requests from those businesses that have not been deemed an essential service, and are looking for productivity ideas for team members working at home. Here are some recommendations to consider

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