Have you hit the wall at work? It’s no surprise if you honestly can’t remember the last time you learned something new or led an interesting or challenging project. Your coworkers aren’t holding-up their end of the bargain, the rumor mill is churning, and sick days are looking like a great escape – even when it means you’re really sick. You missed out on a promotion and, instead of mentoring you, your boss alternates between ignoring you and micro-managing you while challenging every decision you make. You’re surviving in the aftermath of a hiring freeze and your single digit raise left you feeling more frustrated than motivated. All signs point to the closest exit.
Without realizing it, Maura was quickly derailing one interview after another. Frustrated, she reached out for help. With a little coaching, she was able to switch things up and nailed the interviews for the perfect position.
Two modest letters combine to create one powerful statement - “NO”. Thinking strategically, we can selectively use “no” to stay in control of our time and resources. Amy Gallo’s HBR’s Best on Saying No to More Work reminds us to:
“People make their own luck by great preparation and good strategy.” Jack Canfield
If not today, tomorrow or sometime this month, a challenging conversation is sure to pop-up sometime in your future. It’s easy to create your own luck with a clear strategy, preparation, and pre-conversation.
Here are 3 critical steps to prepare for any high stakes discussion:
How many of us thought of ourselves when we first read those four words? During this reflective time of year, remember that the most important conversation is the one we have with ourselves.
Marie Forleo’s video got me thinking. Here’s an exercise to set ourselves up to take pride in our work and to live the life we truly want. Put yourself first, take your time, and reach out to your mentors, fans, and contrarians. Get their help stretching your imagination, discovering how other people see you, and finding the clarity that makes it easy to take the first step toward achieving your goals.
Destroying a decade of hard earned trust is surprisingly easy and profoundly devastating.
Late one afternoon at a busy city clinic, Mika finished-up her patient work and was headed back to her office. She passed her boss Dave in the hall, and he asked her to drop by his office. She and Dave have worked together for 8 years and they have a great rapport. Walking over, she thought he would say something positive about the community outreach program she recently ran that attracted dozens of families and generated lots of positive PR. Yet, when she walked into his office, she quickly sensed a problem. He barely gave her time to sit down before saying, “People are noticing that you aren’t around much.”
At work, our network is a constantly expanding web of interwoven relationships. This network grows more valuable over time and skillful negotiation becomes the key to success.
A successful negotiation is an honest and respectful conversation where both people win. Win-win negotiations clearly reflect our values and our firm refusal to make concessions that put our fundamental beliefs in jeopardy. When we stay true to ourselves, we prevent the dreaded flood of anger, frustration, disappointment, stress, and guilt.
In How to Say No and Still Get to Yes, William Ury presents the components of a successful negotiation:
Every day, you go to work with your own feelings and thoughts – and so does everyone else. Throughout the course of the day, conflicts pop-up around personality differences, not complying with rules and policies, botched communication, and competition. More than mere annoyances, conflicts can serve as unique opportunities to change the way we think and positive change. Facing conflicts is a choice and you’ve got 3 options. Pick one:
The date is set for a challenging conversation and the mental ping pong match begins.
One minute you’re optimistically anticipating a conversation.
“Finally, we’ve got a chance to tackle this problem together, design a solution and move forward with the project.”
The next minute you’re expecting the worst.
“I can’t afford to screw-this-up – I don’t want to appear stupid or desperate.”
Stop the madness and Start Talking! Win the mind game with the Start Talking Checklist and create an ideal environment for open communication and dynamic dialogue.
Question: What do Grey’s Anatomy, Difficult Conversations and Scandal have in common?
Answer: The brilliance of pioneering TV producer Shonda Rhimes. At the 2015 Mass Conference for Women she said, “Most of us spend time avoiding difficult conversations . . . for as long as we can. If you just dive in and have the conversation, the beauty is that across the other side of the difficult conversation lies peace – you’ve got your answer. “
Diving into a tough conversation is easy when your homework is done. With that in mind, our 6 Steps to YES! program is a step by step tool for crafting a conversation E-vite.