Difficult conversations are an everyday part of being a leader. The best leaders have these conversations early and often, avoiding difficult things festering away.

There are five critical elements to remember when you’re having a difficult conversation:

  1. Be clear on the ‘why’ of the conversation. Why does it need to happen? Be clear to the person you’re talking to, but be equally clear in your own mind.
  2. Make time and space. Difficult conversations can be emotional and should have time and space around them.
  3. Be open. There may be reasons or context you need to appreciate.
  4. Make room for a reaction. It’s not just about what you want to say, but also about creating space for the other person to react.
  5. Seek solutions. The best leaders don’t blow bad situations up. Instead, they resolve them in everyone’s best interests and that should always be your objective.