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  • Kelsea Koenreich

How to have hard conversations: Business Owner Edition

One of the less glamorous parts of running a business is the inevitable growing pains that come as you are scaling, hiring, running the business and attempting to have some sort of work-life balance.

A huge sticking point for women especially is the fear of letting anyone down, being afraid of what people might think and not wanting to make anyone upset.

AKA - people pleasing.

If you plan on sustaining the growth you’ve had and continuing to rise higher you’re going to have to learn to raise your standards, set firm boundaries and have hard conversations instead of trying to do everything yourself.

This is how I teach my clients to set boundaries, give feedback, ask for improvements and have tough conversations.

Step One: Celebration

Start by congratulating or celebrating them, speak about their accomplishments, and share with them what they are doing really well. This opens the conversation with positive and truthful validation so they feel accepted and seen creating openness.

Example: “I love how responsive you are to emails and clients, I have noticed that you are really detailed in responding to them and I appreciate that”

Step Two: Improvements

You then state the problem, ask, boundary or what you want to be done differently than it’s being done currently. Don’t make it about them as a person, speak about the actions/inaction directly.

For bonus points: Use “I feel” statements to help them see/understand your perception of what’s happening.

Example: “I have noticed there is a delay in some of the other projects we have going on and things are falling through the cracks, we need to reorganize your schedule to ensure that deadlines are being met. I feel that things get left behind when there is too much on our plates, is this true for you?”

Step Three: Clear expectations

Many people bring problems to the table without bringing solutions, follow up what you want to be done differently with how you want it to be done or ideas on how to improve. You want to give them very clear solutions or direction on exactly what you want.

Example: “I would like all your assigned tasks to be completed by the deadlines and if you are overwhelmed or missing things come to me so that we can redelegate. I would rather you ask for help and us work as a team to get things done on time than try to do too much alone. On Mondays I’d like you to run through all of your assigned tasks and make sure you have the capacity for everything first.”

Step Four: Reminder of Trust

A little encouragement goes a long way. Close the conversation by making sure they are clear and uplifting them, a reminder of what they can rise to and that you believe in them.

Example: “Is our plan for moving forward clear or is that anything you want to change before we move forward? I’ve seen what you are capable of and know that with the right organization things will be back on track and smooth sailing, I know you can do it.”

Use this method with your employees, partners, and clients to make sure there is clarity in your communication for the best results possible!

Don’t let micromanaging, resentment and fear hold you (or them) back from better connection, deeper relationships and more success.

And If you are a woman running a business and have your eyes set on big goals for 2023, don’t let stress and overwhelm stop you in your tracks or decrease your quality of life as you are rising.

CLICK HERE to grab my free Stress Solution - 7 tools to reduce your stress and overwhelm.

Learn more about working with Kelsea and her story here.


Spinning around with the same problems time and time again?  Dealing with everything feeling urgent and like you are treading water?

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