How Difficult Conversations Lead to Successful Outcomes

Difficult conversations are… well difficult. But often what is difficult is most needed.

Difficult conversations are so important for individual and organizational growth.

There is a tool called S.B.I. that helps make difficult conversations more effective. It was created by the Center for Creative Leadership. S.B.I. stands for Situation, Behavior, Impact.

There are 3 keys to difficult conversations:

1. Don’t put them off. If you are wondering if it’s time to have that “talk,” it’s probably already overdue.

2. Being Kind isn’t the same as nice. Being kind is giving someone you care about feedback that helps them because you care. Being nice is not saying anything.

3. Use SBI approach. Here’s an example:

Situation – the other day when you gave your project update

Behavior – you said the project was late and it wasn’t your fault

Impact – that made me feel like there wasn’t the right level of accountability on this very important project, you can also ask about intent to help further clarify. For example, why did you say it wasn’t your fault?

Notice the focus is on facts and how it impacted you. You are not talking about the other person, only the facts of the situation, the behavior you observed, and the impact it had on YOU.

Try sticking to the formula in your next difficult conversation…SBI – Situation, Behavior, Impact.

Better leadership makes a world of difference.