I watched #WhyIDidntReport trend on twitter on the weekend. My heart hurt. What’s the barrier to understanding and acknowledgment? It struck me we approach it as a zero-sum game.
You’re following the performance process line by line. Letter. Meeting. Documented outcome. Supports. Repeat. So why does the whole thing feel like a pile of poo?
You’ve planned and prepared and now you’re having your difficult conversation. You’re calm, collected, ready. Then bam! Tears. Defcon 9 there are tears! Abort! Abort!
I’ve had a lot of difficult discussions over my career. I’ve taken people’s employment away. I’ve sent them to the doctor because the medical we asked them to undertake identified a serious condition. I’ve had a lot of discussions where an individual’s perception of their performance was quite different to their manager’s.
Having a conversation when things aren’t going well is one of the most difficult things a manager has to do. It’s not the conversation itself that is necessarily difficult. It’s everything that surrounds that conversation.
I’ve worked in HR for 20 years now. I’m a HR Director these days. The best HR career advice I can give you? Don’t start in HR. You’ll be a better HR practitioner for it.