We need to bring our best selves to any conversation that includes giving someone a dose of reality. Similar to the ideas presented in A Meeting Full Of Love around meetings in general, a one-on-one discussion where you present less-than-favorable feedback requires a loving, giving attitude.
You must know, down to your toes, that the person will be better off having the information versus not. If it will not make them better, ask yourself whether you should be sharing it at all. Go in with the best of intentions.
Once you’ve established that base, keep these additional tips in mind:
- Be warm and engaging. Smile. Be authentic when you do this.
- Start positively, perhaps by laying out your intentions.
- Say your piece and then stop to listen.
- Let them share their side of the story and don’t argue.
- Offer to help with any change needed without telling them how to react to your news.
Oh, so much easier to write about than to do in actual conversation! That said, I can tell you from experience that keeping these things in mind will result in a better outcome – and missing a few of them has the possibility of driving a wedge between you and the receiver.
When preparing, remember that you are actually helping a friend, coworker or peer by sharing this news. If keeping quiet would hinder their career or relationships, you owe it to them to speak up in a loving, supportive and respectful way.