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7 Real-Life Tips to Talk Tough Without Being Bossy

At the management level, it is important to know how to talk tough with your employees without being bossy. You must monitor their performance, set dress and behavioral standards as well as mentor them for a new role. All this, without sounding pushy or increasing resentment in the employees. In this article at Cornerstone’s Rework, Suzanne Lucas shares Kate Bischoff’s 7 real-life tips to talk tough without being bossy.

Difficult Conversations Without Being Bossy

Many prefer to put up a dominating attitude to make employees work. In the long run, it increases resentment and resistance to follow your lead. HR consultant Bischoff shares some real-life tips to talk tough without being bossy.

  1. Planning the Talk: The vital capability of a leader is communication. It is best to plan how to broach the topic so that the employees understand the importance. If it is regarding their dressing style, keep the company guideline handy when you go into the conference room.
  2. Biased Remark: Talk to the teammates and related departments before taking the manager’s version at face value. The root cause can be quite different than the complaints. Sometimes, the complainant can turn out to be the one that needs some tough talk.
  3. Mentally Collected: Anger clouds your judgment and can turn the matter worse. If you do not want to sound bossy, cool yourself down to think through things objectively before speaking with them.
  4. Scheduling the Conversation: Though you are at your wit’s end, you cannot scream at the employees in their work bay. Find out the time when both the parties can be free and send an official meeting invite. Take them into a room and discuss the matter without being bossy.
  5. Bracing for the Backlash: Since you are treading on a sensitive topic, brace yourself for a backlash. The reason you are having this tough talk is that nobody else could do it or all have given up. Imagine these scenarios and prepare yourself with supporting materials like company guidelines about not smoking in the office premise.
  6. Expecting the Unexpected: Employees can come up with all sorts of explanations. They can take your remarks positively and assure to make changes. They also can get defensive and come up with random explanations that do not make any sense.
  7. Keeping a Record: It is important that you send a meeting minute to the employees and save a copy of it in the employee files. If they ever repeat the same, you can start talking tough without being bossy by recapitulating the previous incident.

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