How to Deliver Difficult Messages Constructively as a Leader

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How to Deliver Difficult Messages Constructively as a Leader

by Kavitha Chahel (UK)

Effective communication is a critical skill that great business leaders use when there is a difficult message that needs delivering. Often when one has a difficult message to deliver the associated feelings are usually of anger, frustration or exasperation, “let me just get this over and done with”.

The issues are often thrown at the other person involved so that it becomes entirely their own problem that needs solving. The best way to deliver a difficult message or discuss an issue is for the issue to be disassociated from the individual in order to collectively find a suitable solution. This helps avoid dehumanising or isolating the person receiving the message.

Being a business leader is a fairly thankless role; if things go wrong you are responsible and if things go right you feel guilty for taking the credit for someone else’s hard work. Taking on this role can often feel like walking around with a bullseye stuck to your back, which can manifest into feelings of isolation and loneliness, and so therein begins the development of unhealthy and unhelpful behaviour patterns to deal with the demands of the role. When you feel isolated the last thing you instinctively want to do is show any weakness. In the act of being strong you end up coming across as being cold and detached, to try to hide any weakness. Learning to become comfortable with vulnerability takes time.

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Source: iCN Issue 20 (Executive Coaching); pages 29-30

About Kavitha Chahel

Kavitha Chahel is the founder and MD of Compassionism Ltd, a leadership coaching and training company focusing on helping business leaders create profitable businesses through highly engaged teams and by getting comfortable with their fear and vulnerability to connect with their compassion.

She is an experienced business coach and company director. For nearly 20 years she has worked in business development, marketing, business leadership and strategy across the corporate, public and charitable sectors. She is also a non-executive director of Asha Projects, a charity that provides safe housing to women and children fleeing domestic violence. She has worked with clients across EMEA, the Americas and APAC. Recently Kavitha published her new book ‘Compassionism’

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