Do you dread having difficult conversations with your drivers? On Fridays, do you struggle to handle calls from drivers wanting to get home for the weekend? How do you respond when a driver is insisting on needing a day off, or is angry that his paycheck is off?
Difficult conversations come up often. Follow these 8 steps to make these conversations easier on you and your drivers:
- Invite the other person to have a discussion by setting the tone and making your intentions clear. You might say something as simple as, “I’d like to meet with you to discuss the blowup we had last week.”
- Once you have an agreement to have the discussion, plan to help yourself be as calm as possible. Go into the meeting with a positive frame of mind, expecting it to work out for the best.
- Open the discussion with a general statement about the issue you both are having. Keep it high-level, emotion-free, and fact-based. For example, “You and I have been having a hard time working together. I would like to try to figure out how we can work better together.”
- Invite the other person’s perspective on the issue you have stated.
- Listen to what the other person has to say. Listen fully, and don’t plan your rebuttal while the other person is speaking.
- Re-state what you’ve heard to make sure you understand. For example, “I want to make sure I understand your position. What I hear you saying is ____. Is that right?” Continue to recap the other person’s point until you get it right.
- Come up with a plan that you both can agree on and commit to giving a try. This will likely take a good amount of discussion coming from both sides. Also, both parties should agree on a period of time to check in and see how the plan is going.
- Get help with the conversation if you feel like you’ll need it. If difficult conversations are especially tough for you, or the driver is extremely upset, you may want some help. Consider asking another manager or HR professional to join the conversation as a neutral third party. This will help ensure that everyone has an opportunity to be heard.