Learn to Have Tough Conversations

As humans, we naturally tend to avoid having tough conversations. If a someone behaves inappropriately in public, we don’t confront them. We are constantly running away from having tough conversations with people.

While trying to correct everyone around you in the world is impractical, we shouldn’t avoid conversations with people at work.

One of the biggest challenges that you will encounter as an entrepreneur when your team grows more than five people is that it becomes challenging to maintain harmony at workplace.

People get jealous, insecure, angry, disappointed, selfish and the list goes on. They are basic human emotions and not everyone can be expected to be a grown up all the time. Instead of trying to suppress people’s emotions, learn to deal with it in a better way.

People will be people and it is wishful thinking to expect that issues will not surface. If you do not create an environment for people’s emotions to surface, it will be buried and its toxic to bury people’s emotions.

People have hard enough time in maintaining harmony with friends and family. Workplace is not going to be easier. When people from different backgrounds are expected to work together for 50+ hours a week, disagreement between people should be expected.

Most of the time, people are not looking for solutions but they just want someone to listen and understand them. If a team member has an issue, just listen and you will observe that the problem goes away magically just because they had someone to talk. What looks like a big issue might not actually be that big of a deal when people blow of steam with someone they respect.

If the issue is bigger and cannot be dissipated just by listening people out, intervene and have the tough conversations that makes you and everyone uncomfortable.

Cleaning the house is not a pleasant task but it is necessary to keep the house pleasant for the next day. Have deep and tough conversations with people and keep aligning the energy at the workplace to a common goal.

When one of my team members was disrespectful to another team member, I had a conversation with both of them even though I wanted to ignore it. When you ignore small cracks in the relationship between people at work, you will let that cracks go wider as the organization grows. This will affect your workplace culture.

If you think that someone in your team is consistently disrupting the harmony at the workplace, you might have to let them go even if they are good at their work performance. Maintaining a positive vibe at the workplace is super-important to keep work exciting and meaningful.

I’ve had to take decisions to let go of people in the past, it was not easy, but ignoring it would have made things difficult for everyone in the long term.

Even if the work that you do is amazing, if it is created at a stressful workplace, there is no fun in the process of creation. In the long term, the organization can become so toxic that it implodes.

Take care of the vibe of your workplace.Work is sacred, meaningful and significant. Just like a mother-to-be needs to be happy to give birth to a healthy child, a workplace needs to be happy to give rise to amazing products and services. Your place of work is your temple.

Have one to one conversations with people to understand different perspectives. It is very rare that you wouldn’t come to know what’s going on if your office if you are ready to listen. People like to talk about their problems and all they need is someone to listen.

Take genuine interest in the well-being of your team and they will take genuine interest in the well-being of your customers. And your customers will take genuine interest in the well-being of your company.

You will observe that in a period of time, your A-team will form around you who are in the same frequency as you. And your A-team will make sure that the culture of your company is maintained going forward. You don’t need a HR to work on people’s issues all the time.

Culture is the invisible co-founder of your company who can make or break the future of your company.

When your company loses money, nothing is lost. When your company loses its customers, something is lost. When your company loses its culture, everything is lost.

So take disturbances in the workplace seriously and have tough conversations required to steer the ship in the right direction again. And be watchful if your ship is going in the right direction.

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