How to have a difficult conversation

I know…we wish we could avoid them.  But sooner or later, we all have to have a difficult conversation.  It’s part of being a leader. 

Before you have a difficult conversation, consider the following:

  • Make sure you are taking care of you. Practice extreme self-care so you have the emotional, physical and spiritual reserves to draw on when you need them. That includes a healthy sense of individuation – a separation of you as a person from you as a pastor.
  • Get in the habit of giving regular feedback to staff and leaders.  If you notice any little problems along the way, if your intuition is telling you something isn’t right, schedule a meeting as soon as possible. Do not wait for the problem to get bigger.  It’s a great way to nip things in the bud.
  • When it’s time for the difficult conversation, try delivering a feedback sandwich – surround your constructive criticism with two examples of things they’re doing well. Keep your language as positive as possible and focus on the bigger picture of your vision.
All the best to you,


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