You Have to Say the Words: An Integrity-Based Approach for Tackling Tough Conversations and Maximizing Performance

You Have to Say the Words: An Integrity-Based Approach for Tackling Tough Conversations and Maximizing Performance

by Kathy Ryan


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You Have to Say the Words: An Integrity-Based Approach for Tackling Tough Conversations and Maximizing Performance by Kathy Ryan

Employees crave honest feedback. Leaders must make time to provide specific and timely feedback, even when it feels uncomfortable to do so. Leadership expert and coach Kathy Ryan shares easy-to-implement action steps that take the fear out of feedback so you can lead with confidence and inspire maximum performance. Packed with practical advice and real-life stories, this definitive guide helps you to leverage the best practices of successful leaders.

Inside you will find an in-depth discussion of the qualities and skills needed to build trust and credibility as a leader, complete step-by-step guidance for providing impactful performance feedback, and valuable tips and templates for documenting performance discussions.

This books is a must-have resource for all managers and HR professionals.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780983756507
Publisher: Achievement Press LLC
Publication date: 09/26/2011
Pages: 306
Sales rank: 196,516
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Kathy Ryan is an author, speaker, leadership coach and founder of Pinnacle Coaching Group, LLC. She has expertise in a variety of areas including leadership, human resources, communication, performance management and personal development. Kathy earned a lifetime certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from the Society for Human Resources Management and has been certified in the use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment since 1995.

During her 20+ year career in human resources, Kathy helped thousands of individuals to increase their management skills and raise their level of influence as leaders. Now as a coach and consultant, she helps organizations improve their financial results by investing in and committing to the personal growth and development of their leadership team.

Table of Contents

Authors Note
Warning: Disclaimer
Section One: Your Leadership Style

1. A Commitment to Honesty
• It Isn't Real Until You Say It
• Dave's Story
• The Courage to Be Honest
• Types of Tough Conversations
• Behavior Issues
• Performance Issues
• Sensitive Topics
• Terminations

2. Build a Strong Foundation
• Building Influence
• Robert's Story
• Developing the Qualities of a Leader
• Becoming a Person of Character
• Be Trustworthy
• Communicate Your Expectations
• Become a Servant Leader
• Invest in Yourself and Others

3. Get Out of Your Own Way
• Your Dark Side
• Fears
• Insecurities
• Biases
• Personality Traits
• Emotionally Distant
• Heart on the Sleeve
• Impatient
• Arrogance
• Avoiding the Conversation
• My Story

Section Two: Develop the Tools

4. Filling Your Toolbox: The Basic Skills
• Your Virtual Toolbox
• The Basic Skills
• Direct Feedback
• Active Listening Skills
• Adapt Your Feedback Style
• Manage and Diffuse Energy
• Consistency

5. Take it to the Next Level
• Advanced Skills
• Trust Your Intuition
• Think Strategically
• Develop a Poker Face
• Think on Your Feet

Section Three: Follow the Process

6. The Development Process
• Set Clear Expectations
• Provide Timely and Consistent Feedback
• Provide Coaching and Counseling
• Document Issues
• Follow Through

7. The Progressive Discipline Process
• Addressing Behavior Issues
• Addressing Performance Issues
• Probationary Period
• Determining the Next Step
• The Roller-Coaster Effect
• Keeping the Right Attitude

8. Sensitive Conversations
• Addressing Sensitive Topics

Section Four: Preparing for the Conversation

9. Assemble Your Dream Team
• Creating Your Dream Team


Experienced Leaders

Human Resources

The Boss

Mental Health Professionals

10. Have a Meeting before the Meeting
• Your Pre-Meeting Meeting
Start with the End in Mind

Determine Overall Tone

Decide on Participants

Identify Roles

Review Signals

Play "What If?"

11. Pay Attention to the Details
• It's All in the Details
• What to Consider

Location / Environment

Additional Support

Money Matters


Section Five: Having the Conversation

12. The Opening
• Three Phases of a Conversation
• The Opening Phase
Setting the Tone

Explain the Purpose

Encourage the Employee to Talk

Listen More Than You Talk

Transition to the Next Phase

• A Few Exceptions to the Opening Format
Addressing Sensitive Issues

Starting with Your Message

13. The Feedback Phase
• The Feedback Phase
Flush Out Pertinent Details

Closed-Ended Questions

Open-Ended Questions

Provide Feedback

Feedback Formulas

• The C.A.R. Formula
• The "While I Appreciate..." Formula
I- Statements

Acknowledge Emotions / Diffuse Energy

Identifying Levels of Emotion

Managing Defenses

The Blame Game

The Stonewall

Taking the Offensive

Playing on Your Emotions

Handling Distractions and Interruptions

Inclement Weather

Loud Noises

Time of Day

People Interruptions

Determine if You are On Course

Transition to Close

14. The Close
• The Closing Phase
Deliver Your Message

Crafting Your Message

The "Or Else" Clause

Leaving Yourself Options

Check for Understanding and Answer Questions

Discuss Follow-up Meeting

Introduce Documentation

Close the Meeting

15. Terminating Employment
• The Format of a Termination Conversation
Prepare for the Conversation

Have a Meeting before the Meeting

Work Out the Details

Have the Conversation

Communicating the Termination to Others


Section Six: After the Conversation

16. You're Not Done Yet
• After the Conversation
Debrief After the Meeting

Check-in with the Employee

Keep Scheduled Follow-up Meetings

Provide Follow-up Documentation

Find a Reason to Interact

Section Seven: The Wonderful World of Documentation

17. What is Documentation?
• When to Document
You Start to See a Pattern

The Problem Is Already Serious

You Have Concerns about Legal Action

The Issue is Job Threatening

• Types of Documentation


Written Verbal

Written Warning

Performance Probation

Final Warning

18. Crafting Your Document
• Writing Your Document
The Format

Bridging Gaps in Documentation

19. Signatures and Witnesses
• Getting a Signature
Refusal to Sign

Order of Signatures

• Including a Witness
The Witness's Role

The Balance of Power

Explain Their Presence

Witness's Signature

Section Eight: Bringing It All Together

20. Final Thoughts
• Work from the Inside Out
• Practice the Skills
• Learn Your Company's Processes
• Prepare for Every Conversation
• Have the Tough Conversations
• Simplify Your Documentation

Additional Resources - Performance Documentation Templates

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