The book is called We Need to Talk. It’s done by business coach Andrea Lee and covers those difficult conversations we all have trouble doing. And when we have to have one of those conversations, it tends to sap all of our energy and dominate our thoughts. And this tends to be the case long before we have the actual conversation — if we have it at all.
Lee’s book provides a strategy to get rid of that stress and gives you strategies for:
• Firing someone when the need arises.
• How to apologize when an apology is needed.
• How to collect a payment when one is due.
• How to manage your team.
Learning to do these things and reframing the subject matter — Lee contends — will help you keep up your health since unsaid conversation is such an energy sapper. And she applies these strategies to a number of situations:
• Meetings: Questioning the purpose of a meeting out loud is okay. In fact, Lee contends it empowers others in the room to be open and honest about the meeting as well.
• Saying no: Find a positive “no.” And say it more often. Saying “yes” often overwhelms us and obligates us to too many things. Say no to projects that don’t pay as well or that really aren’t profitable. It’s okay.
• Put emotions in their proper place: Don’t be afraid of your emotions. We often avoid conversation because of the emotional strain. Getting rid of a nasty client is alright. Changing business partners is okay. Let emotion fuel you, not drain you.
Lee’s formula for conversation success is called the Delta Model. It has three steps:
Number 1: Ask the person you’re talking to where they are at the present time and then listen carefully to their answer.
Number 2: Ask where they want to be right now. Again, listen carefully to their answer.
Number 3: With them come up with ways to turn step one into step two.
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