Business Builders Blog

Navigating Difficult Conversations

Not sure how to get the client to sign that change order? Having a tough time getting that employee to work faster? This week I’m sharing an interview I did with Dominic Rubino about how to make having those conversations easier using a simple 4 step formula.

The formula:

Following this formula will give you more comfort in implementing change, AND, it will give you resources for overcoming resistance to the changes you are implementing.

Dominic and I role-play a few great examples of how to navigate a conversation that could otherwise be riddled with conflict.  One with a client about a change order, the other with an employee. As it played out both parties were feeling good about the results.

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Need to Know Lessons About Motivation

Back in the early years of my business I was struggling.

Not from a lack of direction, workload or help either. It was all there in abundance. I had a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve. And I had clear goals for my team as well.

But, no matter what I did, these goals were frustratingly not being met by my team.

And according to a recent survey I did, 77% of the respondents are feeling exactly how I did. They’re struggling with the same obstacle. Their teams not taking ownership in their jobs.

They’re trapped feeling like they need to micromanage their staff to get anything done.

This feeling had caused me a great deal of stress over the years, even before I’d started out in my own business. Despite several leadership courses and books I’d digested on the topic.

It was when I was faced with unhappy clients that were about to leave, that I knew I had to do something different. I needed to learn how to motivate my team.

That started me looking to the great thought leaders on the topic of management and leadership. The first few were Michael Gerber and his book The E-Myth, and Dan Pink’s talk on Motivation.

In this post I’m going to share the two key lessons I learned that have been the cornerstone of my own transformation as a manager and leader.

1. Successful Leaders Don’t Micromanage

This was the first realization that transformed how I motivated my team.

In Michael Gerber’s book, which I read several times as I stood face-to-face with the prospect of losing my business, he made a clear distinction that revolutionized how I led my team.

I could no longer be a micromanager for the results my staff were meant to be achieving.

I needed to delegate the business’ workload and know – with confidence – that the work was going to be done. Correctly. Without me having to step in and fix it every single time.

Otherwise there’d be no point in me delegating. And there would be no weight taken off my shoulders. I’d still be working a job, instead of running a business.

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Just Get it Done vs. Managing Results

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One of the biggest factors that keep a small business from growing is the inability to train, delegate and let people make mistakes.  I know this not only because I’ve watched it happen to my clients for the past 25 years, but because I’ve also done it myself.

You’re really good at what you do – right?  You’ve been doing it for years, and have a lot of experience and expertise – right?  AND, when you want to make sure things are “done right”, it is often easier to just do it yourself.  After all, you’re faster and better at it than the people who work for you.  You might even contend that they don’t care about your business as much as you do, so it’s risky to give them the important things to handle.  It’s easier to hold onto the important stuff – right? Not really. (more…)

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