4 of 6 Building Trust in Business: Communicate when things don't go as planned
We are human, and the people we work with are too. Humans make mistakes. There are times we over-commit. Sometimes we under-deliver. We make promises with the best of intentions. And sometimes we’re just the middle man in a complex system. But, we are rarely without the ability to communicate. And when we communicate clearly and often, it’s easy for the people we work with to look past our faults and applaud our efforts to be a good partner.
How to communicate when things don’t go as planned:
🍭 Don’t sugarcoat it. Be clear and direct about what has or will happen.
🗂 Come prepared with alternative solutions and a list of ‘must dos’ for each. This will make it easy on the other person to weigh their best option.
👂🏽 LISTEN for (1) how they feel about the situation and (2) what’s important to them. Too often we prioritize ‘saving face’ over giving the person space to voice their frustration/anger/disappointment and then share what you can still do for them that would make an impact. After sharing not so great news, most people will tell us what we can do to fix it - but we’re usually too busy shaming ourselves for the mistake and not truly listening to them because it makes us uncomfortable to hear their charged responses.
🎬 Act! As soon as you can, SHOW them it matters. Fix what you can and find an alternative for what you can’t fix - and let them tell you what alternatives will suit their needs.