Why do people avoid difficult conversations? They delay and delay until there is no other choice. The internet is saturated with how-to articles focusing on structuring feedback. This is important but a big piece is still missing.
Difficult conversations = Difficult emotions
Feedback structure is only a PIECE of the conversation. The other piece is your ability to support in the face of someone's emotions.
When we build familiarity & comfort with strong emotions, difficult conversations become easier. Let's say you're super nervous and end up fumbling your feedback however, you successfully navigate the person's reaction. Win!
It's very possible to turn a negative feedback conversation into "that moment where my manager really championed me through something incredibly difficult".
In today's coaching story, we meet John. John is a brilliant manager but when faced with someone's sadness, he gets real awkward. Sometimes, he'll try to break the awkwardness with a joke.
For John to become an exceptional leader, he needs to complement his feedback with aftermath support.