Posted April 13, 2022 by Mark Perna
Episode Title: Prepping for a Tough Conversation
If you want your feedback to be effective, it should never catch the other person off guard. Let’s talk about why, next on The Perna Syndicate.
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Welcome to The Perna Syndicate! As we talk about tough remote conversations this week, it’s helpful to remember the goal of any communication: that a message be effectively sent and received. And that’s why it should never, ever be a surprise to someone when you need to give them candid feedback.
This holds true for in-person conversations as well as the ones we have to have remotely. Prepping the other person for the conversation can be as simple as saying, hey, let me know when you have a minute to chat this week, I have some concerns I want to share with you and get your thoughts on. This invites the other person into the experience as an equal, rather than blindsiding them.
Prepping yourself for this conversation means thinking through what you want to share, how you would like the information to be received, and why you think it’s important—and doing all this well ahead of time.
If you have little to no experience delivering constructive criticism remotely, you can also write up your feedback and review it with someone else who is not closely involved in the situation.
If it’s really sensitive stuff, try roleplaying the conversation on Zoom with a trusted colleague to check your language and tone. This can help you bring your best to the conversation.
Don’t forget the goal: you want the message to be received, understood, and acted upon. There’s a better chance of all of that happening when you take the time to prep both yourself, and the other person.
On the next episode of The Perna Syndicate, we’re going to cover psychological safety and how to create it when you’re having a tough conversation. See you back here tomorrow for more on that. Take care!