You know all those conversations you hate having with employees?
They’re the “suck it up,” “get it together” or the “do this or we’ll have to do that” kind of chats.
You could avoid them completely if you have other, more relevant, coaching conversations sooner. These are the how to “build resilience,” “break out of a rut,” “craft your career” and “influence others” kind of chats.
“When fully and distinctly addressed, these skills can produce outcomes that refine short-term success, as well as long-term career satisfaction,” says Jerry Connor head of coaching practice at BTS.
With those short- and long-term outcomes, you can forget the other, more negative talks.
And while these conversations are important to have with all employees, they’re critical for newer employees.
Here’s what to discuss.
How to build resilience
Most employees – and especially young employees – tend to beat themselves up more than necessary when they mess up, fail or have a generally bad experience at work.
The negative self-talk derails performance for some time and make them risk-adverse.
A resilience conversation gives them the opportunity to beat themselves up a little, but not dwell on it. To help employees balance thinking and let it go, ask:
- How did you feel when you (failed, missed the deadline, forgot to …)?
- What were you telling yourself then?
- What do you think that means about you?
- Do you really think that’s true?
It’s likely they don’t think it’s true. So from there, you can guide them on how to get through similar situations differently in the future, so you both avoid conversations you hate.
How to break out of a rut
Everyone hits a mental rut at work. They get stuck – perhaps a marketer loses creativity, an accountant gets bored, a salesperson can’t win a deal or an engineer can’t solve a problem.
Employees might give up or try to get it back together using the same old method (which gets the same result: nothing). They need a new thought process, and a conversation fueled by questions like these can help:
- What are you trying to solve?
- What feelings do you and other stakeholders have about it?
- Where are your deepest concerns?
- How does your biggest concern and current effort relate?
This can help people see if they’re actually trying to solve the right problem and potentially different solutions – plus gain a new perspective for future ruts.
How to craft your job
This conversation should be an ongoing one. You want to help employees reflect on what’s important to them so they can shape the future that engages them. Ask:
- What’s going on now?
- How would you like it to be different?
- What’s one thing you can do to move toward that vision?
How to influence others
Whether employees want to resolve conflict, build relationships or become a leader, they need influential skills.
You can help them with “full-view” conversations. Ask:
- What would it take to make sure other people feel heard before you speak your opinions and ideas?
- Knowing that, how can you communicate better to build trust?