Don’t Put it Off

There is a trend when it comes to dealing with difficult situations. It gets put off.

In some cases it might be for a few weeks. In others it could be for a few months or perhaps years. Often there is false hope that the situation might just go away, but usually it never does. It can be similar to refraining from going to the doctor for a minor ailment. Putting off the visit can sometimes be catastrophic, costly and perhaps fatal. Perhaps you know of a situation right now.

Since the start of the year, we have noticed a steady increase in the number of requests we receive for providing training, briefings or coaching for line managers on how to handle difficult conversations. These usually relate to behaviour, performance, redundancy discussions or managing change.

I recall going for a drink with a line manager after she had had a day of difficult conversations. Over our beverage she commented how she felt a sense of achievement and relief as a result of having the discussions. She wished she’d had them sooner. She hadn’t slept at all the night before. If done correctly these discussions aren’t nearly as bad as you think they might be. So, if you or your colleagues have been putting off a difficult conversation, why not plan to do something about it this week?

On to the exercise…

We usually run an exercise during the training sessions. Research shows that in most organisations line managers spend an average of 20% of their time dealing with conflict related matters. This exercise takes less than 5 minutes and will give you an indication of hidden costs for your organisation. This is often a good way to get buy in from the FD or CEO, especially during a time of economic uncertainty. Just follow 4 simple steps to get your answer. If you want an example there is one below.

  1. Work out the number of people with line management responsibility in your organisation
  2. Estimate the average annual base salary for these individuals
  3. Multiply the average base salary by the number of individuals
  4. Calculate 20% of the figure – This is your answer

Shocked? Most people are..

Need an example? Follow below

No of managers = 200

Average base salary = £40,000 pa

£40,000 x 200 = £8 million

20% of £8 million = £1.6 million

Two questions for you.

  1. How long have you or a colleague been putting off a difficult conversation
  2. What answer did you get?

Have a good week