Being at or near the top of an organization can be a lonely experience.
Yet so many executives don’t have a safe place where they can regularly talk things through and help them get clear on what’s important to them.
Case Study: Successfully Confronting Issues
One executive I worked with discovered that every single time she’d bring an important issue out from under the table and we strategised about how she’d courageously deal with it, she successfully resolved the situation (usually in just one conversation), once and for all.
Yes, every single time.
In each instance, this executive needed to:
- Decide to confront the issue, once and for all.
That was the hardest part for her. Historically, she’d been a seasoned avoider.
Avoiding having an important conversation has a huge negative impact on your self-worth and self-esteem.
- Get crystal clear on her intent for the conversation.
And ensure that intent would make logical sense to the other person.
It’s amazing how much easier the conversation becomes when you’re crystal clear on your targeted outcome. Often, it’ll be your opening sentence.
- Be candid about how she was feeling — either how she felt about the situation or how she felt about having the conversation.
She learned to be 100% candid about any relevant feelings she had. She knew that, to lift rapport and trust, it was crucial that the other person wasn’t left guessing how she felt about the situation.
Be prepared to disclose your feelings. For example,
- “To be frank, I’m feeling nervous about this conversation because I don’t think you’re going to be thrilled with the feedback I have for you. And I want to support you as much as I can and help you be the best possible leader you can be. Can I give you this candid feedback?”
- “I’m apprehensive about whether you and I will see eye to eye on this; so I’m eager for us to work through it together and see if we can have a meeting of minds. Are you good with that?”
- Develop her “script”/ her plan of attack.
When this executive had a model for her difficult conversations, she became an expert in courageously and confidently dealing with them.
Her success with what she would have earlier considered to be “difficult conversations” had her reframe them as “bridge-building opportunities.”
Your Safe Place
Successful executives never go at it alone.
All executives have fears and concerns — fears and concerns that, when talked through with a personal career strategist, either get resolved or quickly move in the direction of resolution.
Having a safe place to talk through your fears and concerns is one of the 10 vital strategies that ambitious female executives must embrace to have a deep and lasting impact.
Continued in Carolyn Stevens’ book, “Stepping Into Your Power“.