let them know what's ahead of them

Have you ever been at a birthday party where the person whose birthday it is was totally surprised about it all? Have you seen their faces? Some are either totally overwhelmed with joy or some…eeek…some are not ok with it at all…they feel ambushed. 

For those people, it sucks. And too often in the tough conversations at work, people are on the receiving end of a very unwanted surprise. So let's do the opposite and give them a huge heads up.

As a manager, it needs to be your priority to allow for them/the other person to be able to prepare for the discussion that you will have with them. Knowingly allowing the other person to turn up less prepared than you is called having the “competitive advantage”. It is also the fastest way you can lose their trust.

Remember, it’s not about having more dirt on someone. Before you invite others to a meeting that is going to be a tough stuff conversation, ensure you give them some notice of what will be discussed. Don’t let it be a surprise!

There's no checklist for this. You simply need to not 'spring' stuff on the other party. One of the biggest reasons people cite when asked why a process lacked fairness is related to when it felt 'done to them' rather than they had a clear understanding of the steps ahead of them. Empower them early by letting them know the steps. 

Our next module will give you a really practical tool around how to make sure you and them are both prepared nicely.

See you in our next module, the boring, but necessary stuff. If you love a checklist, you'll be in heaven :)