No one is excited to have a difficult conversation with a key team member. But you choosing to
avoid that conversation (I initially wrote your inability to have that conversation but we know it’s
not really inability) because it’s uncomfortable can cost your agency so much.
In today’s super snug employee recruitment/retention environment — you think you’re tiptoeing
around that challenging situation or employee, but the truth is, you’re afraid. Giving in to that
fear can cost you some of your best employees, your reputation as an honest (remember those
values you preach or have hanging in the agency’s conference room) leader and clients.
Leaders who fail to address bad behavior tacitly endorse such behavior to other workers. If one
person gets away with late starts or low-key insubordination, your team will emulate the
behavior (or think less of the manager who allows it).
This is a skill that every agency owner needs to embrace and improve. Entrepreneur Magazine
asked me to write about the risks of not being good at the difficult conversations and I did a
solocast on the topic with what I hope are some helpful tips.
If this is an area of growth for you, please check out the article and the solocast. But beyond
that — commit to making this a focus for you in the coming months. This should also be a high
priority skill for anyone in your shop who manages other employees. You all have to get better
at this. The risks are too great to ignore the consequences of letting this slide.
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