but now it was standing room only

A couple weeks ago, I presented a 30 minute Ignite Session at a national HR Conference in Phoenix (AASPA). I counted 60 chairs and I hoped for 15 people to come, but now it was standing room only. The session’s title “Planning for Tough Conversations to Avoid HR Referrals” had gotten their attention. I began with a story that I knew they would relate to personally.

My story portrayed a school district HR director, who wanted help resolving employee issues before they grew into a big deal, and became his problem. He described a team of school principals struggling with how to give tough feedback to teachers whose behavior was interfering with their job, affected students, or both.

Some principals thought they were clear with corrective feedback, but often did not get the message across or did not resolve the issue. Others simply watched and waited for things to sort out, not sure of what to do. By not effectively dealing with the problem, it would get worse, waste valuable time and productivity, while weakening their leadership among the staff.

Eventually, a teacher would be written up for discipline or put on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) by their principal. The teacher often landed in my client’s office, honestly stunned that they were in trouble, and feeling let down by their principal.

We came alongside this talented HR professional to listen and ask questions to understand his situation and goals for his team. Although we helped him select many great district leaders, it was clear even talented people need help to constructively confront difficult.

Together we designed a 5 Step Plan plan that helped them frame the situation in their own mind and prepare discussion tools to seek a collaborative solution with the teacher. This 5 Step Plan called each building leader to:

  • Reflect on their leadership views
  • Expect a standard of Excellence
  • Inspect for performance gaps
  • Create a responsive feedback plan, and
  • Provide tough feedback respectfully

Once approved, the HR Director scheduled a one-day workshop session with principal and department supervisors. We talked through the process, practiced with scenario examples, and then each person began to apply the 5 Step Plan to a specific teacher they knew needed tough feedback… now.

As adult developers, these leaders genuinely wanted the best for these teachers. Staff success translates in to great results for students and their families. Now they can build relationships and respect by engaging in “Tough Feedback” with a positive plan.

Now they can focus on:

  • improving teacher performance and relationships
  • improving employee morale
  • increasing their respect as a leader
  • avoiding distraction and focus on their mission
  • reclaiming wasted time and lost productivity

How about you? Are you ready to stop avoiding and star planning dialog that addresses difficult people? Crown’s one-day workshop will equip you to provide collaborative, confident, and productive feedback to a specific employee.