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Challenge: I’m trying to deal with someone who is openly pessimistic and sighs at everything. I understand that what we are doing right now is stressful, but I’m trying to keep people motivated and I don’t know how to deal with it.
Coach Response: My approach is “I want to talk to you because it doesn’t seem like you are having any fun. There is a lot of heavy sighing and eye rolling in team meetings. You are a team leader. You have a significant role here and you influence people. I know we have a lot going on, but I am concerned because it’s so visible and I want to talk to you. Are there things I should know? I want to support you.”
If you have fear about losing people by opening the discussion, you are compromising your values. Are there moments we just have to get through it? Yes. Say “I totally understand it’s hard. What do we do about it? What do you believe the solution could be?”
The answer definitely isn’t rolling your eyes and sighing for the rest of your life. You are not responsible for other people’s emotional health. You have to take that off your list. It doesn’t give us carte blanche to be jerks, but she’s an adult. You are co-creating an experience with her. You are allowed to not want the experience she is creating.
So how do you make employees feel better so they don’t quit? Ask them how they can feel better. Don’t contort your business and yourself to try and accommodate them in hopes they will. If they give you an answer to what could be done, you get to decide whether it is in your best interest to implement, if anything.
Life’s hard, you don’t need them reminding you through audible huffs and puffs. You have to address it without feeling responsible for how they choose to feel.
Gotta have a difficult conversation of your own…but don’t know how…or don’t want to? There’s a FREE Difficult Conversations Class available now! It’s short (only 17 minutes) but very impactful! Click below to access it.