If you could ask one question about difficult conversations, what would it be?

Thanks so much for all the replies to my question last week from Stuart, Sylvia, K, Jennifer and everyone else about what would make having difficult conversations easier for you.
If you missed last week’s post, I’m Phil McMillan from Heads Up. This term I’ll be sharing some thoughts and looking to hear from you about what will help you have more successful difficult conversations.
There was a range of responses about what would make life easier, such as how to frame the conversation, how to handle emotion and how to make your message heard. We’ll be exploring some of these later in the term but this week I just want to address one common response: Having more time in the day!
Now I’m not going to tell you how to plan your day better. What intrigues me about this common complaint about time is it reveals how every difficult conversation takes up a lot of your time and energy – a precious finite resource.
You have to make tough decisions with your time, and of course (cliché alert!) – Time is money.
Do you know how much addressing performance and behaviour issues costs your school financially? You can work it out in 5 minutes with our calculator.
Is it as much as you thought? More? Less?
Whatever it is, chances are you wish it wasn’t costing you anything!

But it is a cost to an extent you can’t avoid – having difficult conversations is an investment for the future.

Having successful difficult conversations drives improvement. You know not having conversations with your team about performance or behaviour is not an option. Inaction is more costly than making mistakes in the long run.
So as you can’t save time and money by not having difficult conversations, you need to ensure the time and effort you invest is more likely to result in a positive outcome.
Therefore, my question for you this week is this:

If you could ask an expert for help with having a difficult conversation, what would your question be?

For example, would it be how can I learn to get my point across better to avoid having the same conversation over and over again?
Hit reply and let me know. I’ll ask the experts for you and do my best to help!
Have a great week – and think about how you can reduce the cost of conflict!
Best wishes,
Phil