Tough Talks Book Series

Franchise Tough Talks®: When Customers Overhear Personal Conversations

Difficult conversations are a part of life for franchise owners. As for all businesses, communicating with employees is essential.  When that employee is presenting a face to your customer that isn’t good for your franchise business, it’s imperative that you deal with it immediately.  But do you always know about bad behavior of your employees?

I recently went through a drive-in fast food restaurant after my yoga class one evening. After I placed my order at the franchise, well known for it’s consistent quality around the world, I drove up to the window to pay. Behind the cashier was a small office, with the door open. An adult women, whom I assume was the night time manager, was on the phone. I overheard her conversation, …

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Difficult conversations, Franchises, performance management. Leave a Comment

Performance Reviews: Do you postpone them?

If you’re like most bosses, you put off performance reviews. Employee appraisals take a lot of time, but are extremely important for motivating your workers and improving productivity in the workplace. Here is part of a discussion I had with Ron Culp for Chicago Now. We talk about the two big reasons why putting off performance reviews is a bad idea.

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Conflict resolution: research on your brain

I’ve long been fascinated about how our brains impact, or are impacted by, conflicts and difficult discussions. While doing my research for Tough Talks® in Tough Times, I tracked down information about the physiology of emotions and what role they played in giving and receiving bad news in the workplace. Each person I interviewed described the same physical reactions to receiving bad news: pounding hearts, upset stomachs, dizziness, dry mouths. And I wanted to know why.

Here’s the reason:  When a person hears bad news, no matter what else they were previously thinking at the time, their minds and bodies immediately perceive a threat of some kind.  And when that happens, their sympathetic nervous systems are activated and release a rush of 1100 …

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A surprising benefit to having difficult conversations

Most people do not like delivering bad news. Surprisingly, it is a skill that is valued in today’s economy. And it adds to your own marketability.  Being able to handle difficult subjects and conversations can differentiate you and keep you moving your own career forward.

Karl Ahlrichs, human resource consultant at Gregory & Appel, calls this “a core skill that will keep you on board longer than someone who doesn’t have this ability.  Not only will your division perform better,” adds Karl, “the organization will recognize managers who have this skill.”

CEOs in all sectors are concerned with performance management. The ability to keep, motivate, and engage good employees is essential. If you have a good track record in this area, you stand a much …

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