Family Man. Entrepreneur. Author. Speaker.
[Episode #2] Having Tough Conversations

[Episode #2] Having Tough Conversations

⬇ Full Transcript of Episode #2 Below ⬇

Hey, it’s Justin Prince.

How do you have challenging conversations? Because as an entrepreneur, as a leader, as a sales professional, I promise you the need will arise when you need to have the tough conversations.

How many of just avoid it? We know we need to talk to her, we know we need to talk to him, or talk to them, and we don’t want to. We’re like, “Oh, crap. I know how this is going [00:00:30] to go. I don’t want to hurt the relationship. It might blow up in y face and I just don’t want to do it.”

Or we know we need to do it and we have that pit in our stomach. We don’t sleep well at night. We just try and we’re sick about it for two or three or four weeks. We’re like, “I just finally need to do it.” So how do you do that? How do you have challenging, difficult thought provoking conversations in a way that you still can retain the friendship, keep the business moving forward and do in a really humble, sincere way.

I’m going to share with you six strategies that you can us to build into and create an environment [00:01:00] for you to have challenging conversations. Napoleon said, “Half the battle is picking the time and the place.” Well, half the battle is also create the mood. It’s creating the tone of a conversation.

Number one, enter the conversation with the best both parties at heart. Stephen Covey calls win-win. But don’t just go in there like, “I’m going to show them my way,” or, “I’m going to teach them my stuff.” Go in there with best intentions at heart and your best intentions at heart. It’s not win-lose. It’s not even a compromise. It’s win-win. This motive does [00:01:30] matter. Intent matters. Your tone matters. Being positive and productive. This all matters. So that’s number one.

Number two, ask permission. One of the most disarming things you can say is you can simply say, “Would you be open to us having an authentic conversation?”, “Would you be open to us having a real conversation?”, or, “a challenging conversation?”

Another thing you can say, something like this, ‘Hey, I’m feeling uncomfortable here,” or, “My feelings have been hurt. Would you be open to … ” You’re asking them for permission. It’s almost permission-based marketing that really asking them for permission [00:02:00] to say, “Can we go there? Is that cool with you if have this real conversation that we need to have?”

Number three is build common ground. This is super important. You have to build stability, that, “Hey, we’re both standing on the same thing.” An illustration you can think about is, if you’re around a table, they’re not one side and you’re on the other side. I want to you to imagine going on their side of the table, build some common ground. “We’re in this together.”

I’ll do something like this. First is, what do I want to have happen in this conversation. This is what you’ll say to him. And then second [00:02:30] is what do I not want to have happen in this conversation. So let me give you as an example, you’d say something like this. This is on the what I do want. You’d say, “I want to our relationship to get stronger.” Or, “I want to gain something clarity.” Or, “I want to see if I could understand better where you’re coming from.”

Do you guys see that? You’re stating, what do you want first. And then you can go into what you don’t want. You can say things like, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings here. I don’t want to you to feel attacked. I don’t want there to be a divide in our relationship or in our [00:03:00] team. So what I do want to is this, and what I don’t want is this.” Very powerful way to build some common ground.

What I would encourage you to think about is, what do they want to? They don’t want a divide in the team. They don’t want to hurt relationship either. So what we do, and then what do they want? They want some clarity. They want to work through the relationship challenges. They want to work through the issue. What I do want is. What I want to avoid is that.

Number four is be humble. The Latin root of the word humble actually comes from the word humus. So not hummus but humus. [00:03:30] What does that mean? Being humble does not like downward subservient glances and your shoulders are hunched over. Like, “I’m just really humble.” Like, “You can just kick me in the face and I’m just humble that’s fine. No, no, no. You can be strong and be humble.

Humble comes from the Latin word humus, and what it means is organic dark rich fertile soil. It’s basically the kind of soil that they could plant in and it was so fertile things would grow. So if you’re humble you’re willing to learn. What I’m going to share with you is this, being humble means that you’re going into this conversation willing to learn.

So [00:04:00] you’re going to into the conversation with things like this. “I’m open to hearing your perspective.” “I want to hear where you’re coming from.” “I’m coming to this conversation knowing that if I have a blind spot or if I’m not seeing something clearly, I want you to give you the permission to share with me.”

Let me also share this about humility. Some of us need this is as entrepreneurs, as leaders, as sales professionals, you need to hear this, okay? The three most powerful words you can say in a conversation is, “I am sorry.” Own your stuff. If you’ve offended somebody, [00:04:30] if you’ve acted out of line, you’re not proud of how you acted. Even if you were right but your actions were wrong, and by the way even if you were right and your actions were okay but you hurt their feelings. Freaking say you’re sorry.

Why? Because you hurt their feelings. That wasn’t your goal. You say, “But yeah, it wasn’t my fault. It’s their fault. That’s their own issue.” You don’t have to apologize for everything. You can simply say, “I’m apologizing that I hurt your feelings. That was not my intention. I am sorry.” Own your stuff a little bit. This is one of the most important things you can do as a leader of people, [00:05:00] is just to apologize. If you hurt their feelings apologize.

Number five is be vulnerable. You could something like, “Look, my feelings are hurt.” A lot of us, we get so strong and we act like we’re so powerful, but our feelings are hurts. Like, “That really hurt my feelings.” Own it, be vulnerable with them.

You could something like, “Look, if I am missing something please tell me but, this, I’m feeling really uncomfortable.” Or, “My feelings have been hurt.” Or, “This could be my problem. I’m being vulnerable with you to say this could be my own insecurities. But here’s where I’m coming from. Will you share with me where you’re coming from?” That [00:05:30] is so disarming to people when you’re sincere, humble and vulnerable.

Lastly, I want you to use I-messages versus you-messages. Okay, so what does that mean? I-messages would be something like this, “I feel … My feelings are … ” Versus, “You’re a jerk.” You know? Like, “It’s your problem. You did this. You did that.” “I feel hurt. I feel taken advantage of. I feel stressed out.” Just come from, “Hey, here’s how I’m feeling.” Because remember you might be a little bit off.

[00:06:00] We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are, right? You might be a little off. So, “I feel this way. This is some of the things that have happened, this is how they made me feel,” or, “what’s happened in my life. I would like for you to share your perspective.” Versus, “You did this and you did that, and you did that. It ticked me off. You’re a jerk.”

So guys, that’s the six ways, six strategies you can use to have the tough conversations. Put these in a place. You need to have them. Don’t avoid the conversations. Don’t have a pit in your stomach and lose the next month worth of sleep [00:06:30] because you don’t dare have the conversation.

Have the touch conversations. Do it. You need to do it. Your business needs it. Your team needs it. Your family needs it. You need to do it, but do it in a way that again has that tone and that tact and that motive to really help you. Remember this guys. Your dreams and your goals are important. Your pursuing them is worth it, and your accomplishing them is necessary.

Remember this guys. Your dreams and your goals are important. Your pursuing them is worth it, and your accomplishing them is necessary.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Justin this is great and I always love the way you describe being “humble” as I was brought up for it to mean letting people walk all over you.

    However I do need to have one of these difficult conversations yet I don’t feel like I can as I know the other person would be argumentative (as he always is) and he has to be “right”. I will get hurt from it and I really can’t see there being a positive outcome hence why I’m not doing it.

    I’m still learning and building my confidence in this industry and I’m learning to avoid negativity and negative people This person is my brother-in-law which is what makes it difficult.

    Do I attempt the conversation and risk hurt, my self confidence being knocked and negativity being thrown at me or do I wait and build myself first?

    Thank you.

    1. Grace, this is a tough question. My best advice is to have the conversation but to not give up your power to this person. You can only do what you can do. You can only handle yourself with professionalism and class. I would have the conversation and get it “off your chest” and then wipe your feet and walk away.
      Proud of you. You are doing great.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu

Enter Your Name and Email Below to Get the FREE PDF Download for Episode #8

Enter Your Name and Email Below to Get the FREE PDF Download for Episode #7

Enter Your Name and Email Below to Get the FREE PDF Download for Episode #6

Enter Your Name and Email Below to Get the FREE PDF Download for Episode #5

Enter Your Name and Email Below to Get the FREE PDF Download for Episode #4

Enter Your Name and Email Below to Get the FREE PDF Download for Episode #3

Enter Your Name and Email Below to Get the FREE PDF Download for Episode #2

Enter Your Name and Email Below to Get the Companion PDF Download for Episode #1

Enter your name and email below and I’ll send you a free digital copy of my book!