A Tip for Candid Conversations

Candidate Conversations Key Managerial Skill

Candidate Conversations Key Managerial Skill

I was talking to a client and discussing the performance appraisal process. I mentioned one of the downfalls was that many supervisors are hesitant to be candid with employees and tell them the truth about their bad performance, not necessarily bad enough to fire them but bad enough to say “no raise.” He agreed that the ability to communicate in a candid manner is a key managerial skill.

Returning to my office I opened my mail to find a blog post on candid conversations. I liked the post but a single tip for candid conversations stuck out to me. That tip is, “Conclude with a promise.” As Keith Ferrazzi, the noted author and writer of this blog, said:

At the end of every candid conversation, it should be clear what the next steps are. Restate briefly what you’re taking away from the conversation, and if there’s any action item on your plate, restate your commitment to act and, if appropriate, include a rough date for when you hope to pick up the conversation. This maintains the relationship momentum and affirms that the contents of the conversation were important enough to warrant follow-up.

This is very important. This tip shows that what you are engaging in is not merely critique but an effort to improve.

Communication and Other Tips at Work

Ferrazzi also offers nine other tips for handling candid conversations and other workplace communication situations. In 10 Valuable Tips to Take the “Awkward” out of Workplace Honesty, he offers some great advice on how you can be candid yet helpful and non-threatening.

By the way, for those of you who don’t know Ferrazzi, you should. His book Never Eat Alone is a wonderful roadmap on networking.

Michael (Mike) D. Haberman, SPHR is a consultant, writer, speaker and co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc.  He has been in the field of HR for 30 years as both practitioner and consultant. He specializes in compliance issues for his small business clients. He is the author of the blog HR Observations which can be found at www.omegahrsolutions.com and he has been writing blog posts on a full spectrum of HR topics for almost seven years. He is an active user of Twitter and can be found at @mikehaberman or @HRComplianceGuy. He has been an instructor in HR for 14 years and has helped many people achieve their PHR or SPHR during that time.

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Mike Haberman

Michael (Mike) D. Haberman, SPHR is a consultant, speaker, writer of HR Observations, and co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, Inc. After over 30 years in HR he got tired of the past and focuses here on the Future of HR. Connect with Mike.


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