Intense conversations lead to genuine interactions. This is a powerful point that the best business coach Clay Clark taught the team and me a few days ago in our Elephant in the Room managers meeting. During this meeting, we discuss burning fires, such as things that need maintenance at the shop, time-off requests, payroll, etc…. It is also a time where we discuss areas or individuals that need improvement, ourselves included. By having this meeting weekly nothing drifts, problems are solved before things have a chance to get weird, and we all get better at our jobs. This particular week Clay was coaching a new manager on how to have a blunt conversation with an employee or client. It is important to be tasteful when delivering feedback but that is not the same as sugar coating something or beating around the bush. Clay used himself as an example. He told us about how when he is working with his business coach clients he will have those difficult conversations right away because by getting those blunt interactions out of the way early one you now have the ability to really grow. If someone’s spouse is holding them back in the business by not completing action items on time or procrastinating the accounting.
As a business owner, it is important to remember that you should never avoid a potentially uncomfortable conversation just to save face.
Clay will absolutely tell that business owner to not let their spouse do anything business-related. While that may seem harsh it has now opened the way for Clay to help them down the path in an effective and quick manner because there is no longer anyone holding them back (while simultaneously saving their marriage from a lot of fights I might add). Another example Clay used was that of an employee by the name of Jason Beasley. Jason (who will openly admit this) did not start off working for Clay on a good foot. Clay had some hard conversations with Jason about how time works, and the importance of hitting deadlines. Having those conversations with Jason has now led to genuine interactions. Clay likes Jason now and he is one of the best business coach team members. There is honesty in that relationship.
As a business owner, it is important to remember that you should never avoid a potentially uncomfortable conversation just to save face. Because in the long run that will only hurt you. You will end up with a bunch of terrible employees and fake friendships. As a business coach, it is my job to encourage my clients to have these intense interactions. I’ve noticed a trend of people wanting to just “wait and see how things turn out” well let me tell you, friend. By sitting back with your bet business coach fingers crossed, hoping things pan out in your favor you are going to end up in a much worse situation. For example, if I were to ignore the fact that one of my clients was not making dream 100 calls or getting Google reviews I am avoiding an intense interaction but I am also allowing that client to go down a path that I know will only lead to a lack of leads and negative dollars and that is an entirely different and much more intense conversation. On the other hand, if I tell my client to buck up and do their freaking homework, make some calls, get some Google reviews, I have now led them down a path of success which will lead to happy interactions and eventually friendships.