Sometimes It’s Not What You Say…
May 15th, 2012
… it’s how you say it.
As HR professionals we often have to deliver a message or have a discussion that follows the law, but also doesn’t cause animosity, or makes people feel stupid. When a manager approaches you and tells you they want to fire one of their employees immediately, instead of saying, “No, you can’t fire John, this is the first I’m hearing of the problem, where is your documentation?” You should say, “So you want to fire John. Help me understand why, and then let’s talk about how you can get the problem solved.” You can’t change people’s behavior by force, but you can change it by partnering with them. Maybe we can improve Joe, maybe we can document quickly and facilitate the termination, or maybe there’s another solution. But if you’re starting the conversation with, “No, you can’t do that,” you’re going to be completely ineffective.
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