Track Training Tips No. 41

10 Steps to Holding Courageous Conversations


I came across some research by Performance Coaching International that said:  “70% of mangers are either unwilling or unable to have the ‘courageous conversation’ needed to address under performance from staff”

Sadly this does not surprise me. The repercussions of not being prepared/supported to hold these performance related conversations are clear to all – so lets focus on some possible steps to take.


  1. As manager – understand and accept that it its part of your role to do so.
  2. Discuss the matter with your manager and HR – seek their advice and help, suggestions and solutions, let them know what it is you intend to do and make sure that their support is forthcoming.
  3. Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance – make sure that you have all of the facts that you require – what is the performance issue? what evidence is there? what support/coaching has been offered so far?
  4. Ensue that you have clear objectives outlined for the meeting.  Make sure that they are SMART.
  5. Book an appointment with the individual concerned – it may be your office, maybe somewhere neutral – but make sure that you control the time, setting and the outcomes.
  6. Review your personal competences and confidence. Got enough of both? If not do something about it – now! Get some coaching, training, mentoring. Practice the beginning, middle and end – get feedback. Practice again.
  7. Treat the process as a piece of Change management – you behaviour and their behaviour. But …. Change is required. “Feel the fear and do it anyway” (Rosabeth Moss Kanter).
  8. Remind yourself of why you need to do this. Review the alternatives. (unless the person is about to leave the organisation, in which case organise a party, there aren’t any)
  9. Do it.
  10. Call me and let me know how it went!

Links to workshops:

Managing Difficult Behaviour

Managing Conflict

For further information and business support contact Dave Chesters on 01785 823583 or take a look at our website 


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