Heads Up


Thanks to everyone who got in touch since last week. I’ve had a lot of interesting responses about what one question you would ask an expert about having difficult conversations! My expert is working on the answers which we’ll be sharing after half-term.

I’m Phil McMillan from Heads Up, back again with some thoughts and questions on how to handle those difficult conversations that are needed to drive improvement.

Looking through the responses from last week, there is one common question that came up – what to do when conversations don’t go according to plan!

Conversations rarely go as we’d hoped or imagined beforehand. There is a way to set-up a conversation to be more successful (we’ll get to that at a later date), but if you are anything like me you could be making some easily fixable mistakes when trying to have a difficult conversation with your staff.

Here’s one mistake I made: I remember trying to talk to a member of my team about their behaviour (being rude to colleagues). I thought it had gone pretty well and my message had gotten across, but the pattern of behaviour continued.

So I asked Sonia Gill (founder of heads up and definitely the better half of our marriage) for advice about what to do, and she asked whether I had given specific examples of their behaviour and the consequences? Doh! I hadn’t, not really. After doing that, my feedback went across much more effectively!

My point is sometimes we can think we’re being clear with what we’re saying, but are we really?

What do you think your most common mistake is when having a difficult conversation?

Not preparing enough? Saying the wrong thing? Not being clear?

Hit reply, send me your thoughts and we’ll do our best to help you! The best replies will be featured (anonymously!) in a forthcoming e-video series where our expert will provide detailed answers, so please keep the responses coming!

Until next time, have a great week and maybe think about whether you are being as clear as you can be.

Best wishes,

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