Clear Views Blog

Insights and strategies around creating cultures of engagement

Difficult Conversations: Negotiations

I can still remember the moment when I realized two male peers were making 20% more than I was despite our roles, responsibilities and time in our jobs being almost identical. The company had just handed out our expected United Way contributions and the HR director made the mistake of saying the number on our forms was based on 5% of our annual salaries. Since my male peers were sitting beside me, it was not hard to see that my contribution was lower than theirs. I quickly did the math in my head. Now what? Sure, I had suspected they might be making more but now I knew.

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Launching Tough Talk: 10 Tips for Disarming Difficult Conversations

At our book launch party last week, we all had a great time! We invited our guests to vote on their most favorite quote we had incorporated in the book, TOUGH TALK. Some of them included:

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Difficult Conversations: Peer-to-Peer Accountability

You could have heard a pin drop. Someone finally told John he wasn't pulling his weight that he had missed the deadline again causing the whole team to suffer. Mary was clearly disturbed, so much so that she blurted out, "do your job, so the rest of us can do ours." John was shocked, but stammered how "sorry he was". The team leader, Bill, took the opportunity to sit down and talk about roles and responsibilities and while things were painfully stilted for a few minutes, it got the whole team talking. 

This team had been through the fire together and they valued forthrightness and honesty. As a matter of fact, people had been dreading saying something to John because they all liked him so much. Mary had the courage to act on her frustration for her own sake and the good of the team. She was practicing the art of "peer to peer" accountability.

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Thorns to Roses Inspires a Book about Difficult Conversations

"We complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."- Abraham Lincoln

Last November, we had the pleasure of delivering a keynote and panel discussion at the WAVE annual event for trailblazing women in corporate America. WAVE stands for Women Adding Value & Excellence. This three-year-old volunteer organization is the brainchild of Susan Baxley of Teradata and Christine Tombelesi of GE. The title for the event: The Conversation - From Thorns to Roses: How People Deal with Critical Conversations was a regular request from leaders in the organization. The event was held at the UPS headquarters, with the keynote immediately followed by a lively panel discussion with four spectacular women representing UPS, W.W. Grainger, GE Capital, and Google.

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