I’m not talking about the election, a celebrity scandal or the next weather event. I mean in your professional life. Business can be hard. Deals don’t always go the way you had hoped. Co-workers aren’t always as helpful as you need. And for some people, talking about money can be downright frightening. Smart communicators know what to say in these challenging situations.
Let’s face it: You know something difficult will happen. And you may not be able to think straight when it does. So put the work in today to make it easier tomorrow.
The first step is to develop a list of difficult scenarios unique to your business and position. Perhaps it’s a customer demanding an unwarranted refund, or a security leak or a significant layoff.
Then create a list of valid talking points which you can use to manage the situation. When preparing these statements keep these three techniques in mind:
- Be proactive. If a client owes you money, don’t sit around and wait. Kindly let them know that there’s an issue and that you or your staff will be following up soon. Being proactive shows strength.
- Be public. If something troubling happened and you’re afraid it could become a PR disaster, get in front of it by making a public statement. It’s better than being on the defense.
- Be strategic. In some situations, such as when a client or coworker is displeased with your work, it’s best to announce your standards and then put the responsibility back on the other person. For example: “Rather than a refund, I’m open to another round of edits.”
Of course, when your impending doom comes – and it will – it may be a situation you did not prepare for. If you did your homework, you’ll just need to adapt a few of your talking points to confidently manage the situation.