You just got bad news from a staff member in the clinic and you need to sit down and address it.
Or perhaps you have to give some tough feedback to front desk staff on your team. Or maybe one of your clinicians wants to talk to you and you're thinking in your mind 'oh no, they want to leave or want more money.'
When we need to have that difficult conversation we're tempted to respond right away to get it over with.
Which is the worst thing you can do. Here’s why...
How To Mentally Prepare For That Difficult Conversation To Help Get The Outcome You Want
When you're having a difficult conversation about conflict your emotions are often running high and going into that conversation in this state will often not get the outcome you really want.
That's why it's important to take the time to prepare mentally. This will greatly help your chances of having a productive conversation and things going smoothly.
In fact, when I get bad news, I will typically wait 24 hours before having the conversation so I don't say something I'd regret when my emotions are running high, which brings us back to mindset.
1. Keep a Positive Mindset
When we hear the words "Can I meet with you" we immediately think something is wrong. They must want to quit or they want more money.
According to clinic owner and leadership expert Karen Craven...
"Our brain is wired to go to the negative but we can retrain ourselves to stop that by saying "Hey thanks for showing up negativity, got it, but I'm going to think positive and have good faith that they just want to have a conversation."
If you go into the conversation expecting the worst it tends to happen or the conversation probably won't go as you wanted.
Check out this video with Karen Craven to learn more about the mindset you should go in with before having a difficult staff conversation:
So check your mindset the next time you need to have that difficult conversation, take a break, go to the washroom, take some deep breaths, and prepare your mind. You can also go for a walk around your clinic so you go in with a clear mindset.
2. Don't Predefine The Conversation With Labels
Don't label it in your mind as a “difficult” conversation because what you say to yourself controls how you're feeling in the moment. To minimize these negative emotions try to think of it as just a regular conversation and frame it in a positive way.
For example, say you need to talk to your clinician about their performance. Instead of thinking of it as a negative performance review, think of it as a constructive feedback conversation about how they can get better.
As Tony Robbins says,
"Whatever you focus on, you feel."
Try to put a constructive frame on it. Doing so puts you into a better state where you can come up with a solution that could prevent a top clinician from leaving to start their own practice down the street whereas in a negative state those ideas tend to not flow.
3. Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Try to put yourself in their shoes. See it from their point of view and try to get a sense of what they are thinking. By entering the conversation with an open mind you're more likely to find common ground.
PS. In this video, multi-million dollar clinic owner and leadership expert Karen Craven, will reveal How To Have Difficult Conversations With Clinicians (And Front Desk) That Inspire Action:
Next time you have to have that difficult conversation, check your mindset. This is an important leadership trait top leaders possess.
Now it might take you some time in the beginning but it gets easier the more you do it... and mostly importantly, the payoff is huge. It could be the difference in saving a key staff member from leaving or not having to give them a raise to keep them.
Most importantly, you will be getting the outcome you want while still having the respect of your staff.
If you found this blog post helpful then you’re going to love this FREE 1-hour training I did with Karen Craven on "How to Have Difficult Conversations With Clinicians (And Front Desk) That Inspire Action - Without Them Leaving You"
You can watch it instantly by clicking here.
Who is Rick Lau and CallHero?
Rick has built three 10 million dollar healthcare businesses over the past 15 years including a network of 127 clinics with over 1400 employees. He is one of the most sought-after mentors for clinic owners in Canada and USA where he helps owners double, triple, and even quadruple their profits by optimizing their clinic operations using his proven systems and leadership strategies. Plus, he has spent over millions in google and facebook ads during his career.
You can follow him on Instagram