Tough Talks Book Series

George Clooney’s lessons

A few weeks ago  I saw Up in the Air, with George Clooney as a ‘hatchet man,’ whose career is delivering tough talks to people, letting them know their jobs have been terminated. He travels around the country filling in for bosses who don’t have the skills needed to ‘let people go.’ As charming as George Clooney is, his character is not a nice man.  Sure he looks good, has an efficient system for firing people, but he is more interested in getting frequent flyer miles than having his own real relationships.

George Clooney’s character, and the company he works for, is necessary because many bosses don’t know how to deliver tough talks–and they don’t want to.

While Clooney’s script has him saying most of …

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Difficult conversations. Leave a Comment

How Do You Motivate Employees During Tough Times?

Is the economy rebounding? Who knows? One source says it is returning to normal. And then the numbers prove otherwise. In any case, the need to motivate employees in these tough times continues. Do you have examples of your company’s motivation efforts?  If so, I’d like to hear them.

Gary Hall of Cattron Theimeg Inc. wrote:

“With all the layoffs and furloughs that are taking place due to business conditions, the employees are being left to bare the burden. Too many companies these days take employees for granted. I like to send people home unexpectedly with pay, even if is just a few hours. (Especially on) a nice Friday afternoon. I do this for hourly as well as salaried employees. The unexpected action is the …

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Difficult conversations, Motivating people. Leave a Comment

what bosses need

A day hasn’t gone by in the recent past without dire economic news. Layoffs had to take place, employees you’ve come to know as family have had to be let go, salaries have had to be cut back or frozen.

How do you deliver bad news? There has to be some formula for that. But it wasn’t anything they taught you in business school.

How do you motivate existing employees? When they’re shell-shocked, productivity plummets.

And what about the physical and psychological ramifications of your words? On your employees?


Jean Palmer Heck has been an international communications advisor to leaders from 32 countries. She’s taken her skills as a strategist, TV news anchor and corporate spokesperson…and her connections with top-level executives…to analyze the

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Difficult conversations. Leave a Comment