Have you had to deliver hard news to your client before? Do you shy away from being the bearer of bad news?
On today’s episode, we are going to be talking about the 5 Ps to deliver an unexpected message to the leader of a business you are supporting. It is inevitable that throughout the course of a client relationship you are going to run across a situation that needs to be addressed. As a Director of Operations (DOO), part of the responsibility is to share feedback. The key is to be a communicator, and I hope these tips will equip you.
Imagine this scenario: you are on a team and the leader has shared a strategy and you and the team are working to implement. No one on the team believes in this strategy, and the buy in is super low. The hard part is that the leader has no idea. They are completely unaware that the team doesn’t support it. Because the team is made up of “yes ma’am” people, they aren’t empowered to speak up. However, you have the ability and the responsibility to have a conversation about these things.
This isn’t easy, but it is necessary to be a leader in the business, for yourself, and in the industry. This type of leadership will set you apart, and you are changing the way the team or business sees you.
The 5 Ps
These are the 5 things I go through to make sure I deliver a message with ease, and deliver it in an approachable way where the leader will be open, and resist a negative response.
Gather perspective, gather your facts, and look at the trends in the industry or their business. Look at the root issues and always stay objective. Make sure it’s not just you who feels that something is off, and that you aren’t framing questions in a way that gets you a response that will confirm your position.
Perspective will allow you to plan your message.
Pull the facts that you have gathered from the perspective phase and create a plan. You need to have a plan around delivering this information. During this phase you will utilize documentation, and crystallize the facts.
“It’s helpful to have something that allows you to remove the emotionality from it.”
Consider how the leader engages in conversation and feedback, and tailor the message around them. This is important to get the buy-in from the leader to be able to have a 2 way conversation.
The delivery of this information needs to be private. If it is a group setting, it will feel like a pile-on, which never ends well. You want the leader to become aware of something so you two can collaborate to create change. Set up a meeting in one-on-one format and leverage the plan.
This message is unexpected for the leader. How they receive it depends on the personality type of the leader and how coachable they are. Take faster action than you typically would. You want to take fast, planned, methodical, analytical action. In other words, don’t spend too much time on fact finding. This is part of you stepping up as a leader on your team.
“Being proactive is key to open, honest, effective, communication.”
You don’t know how the leader will respond, so it’s important to stay positive throughout the entire experience. Keep yourself in a positive place, meaning you are open minded and separate yourself from the message that you are delivering.
“Continue to be a positive force for the team after the message has been delivered.”
Your job is to point out the gaps and the root problems, but at the end of the day, the leader gets to do what they want with that information.
Weekly Ops Activity
Head over to the Facebook group and let us know what are some of the scenarios when you delivered an unexpected piece of feedback to your client?
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