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Dealing with the Tough Stuff: How to Achieve Results from Crucial Conversations by Alison Hill, Sean Richardson, Darren Hill

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Introduction

Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.

Stephen R. Covey, international leadership authority

If you were to sit down and list all the tasks, skills and abilities of a leader of note, the ability to establish a meaningful conversation would have to be among the highest ranked responses.

Interestingly, though, it isn't the ability to have meaningful conversations in the good times that defines a leader; it's the ability to have a meaningful conversation at the worst of times. It's having the crucial conversations at crucial times that makes a leader truly worth following.

It is inevitable that as a leader or a manager you will face conversations that are less than great. These are the conversations we simply label as the Tough Stuff. And the Tough Stuff is different for everyone. For some it is the underperformance discussion with an employee, for others it is the conversation with an excellent worker who has stepped over the line in one area. It could be the termination discussion, or it could be the first conversation with a new graduate who has messed up. It could be any one of a thousand scenarios, but the common denominator is this: all of these discussions are tough, some more so than others.

Making a difference

It is a simple fact: the difference-makers in any organisation are its leaders and managers. Our job description at Pragmatic Thinking <www.pragmaticthinking.com> is an awesome one: ...

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