Ed Batista, a leadership coach at Stanford, has a good tip today on “soft startups.” When I first read that, I thought it was referring to websites that go broke really fast or something. However, a “soft startup” refers to initiating a difficult conversation.
Sometimes when talking about something difficult I just blurt it out. Believe it or not, I’ve had good results with that. I use it because I find it easier than being delicate. These tips, however, seem like a good resource and definitely would be worth trying out.
How to Initiate a Soft Startup
- Start with something positive. (C’mon, you must be able to think of something.)
- Use “I” statements to express your perspective and your feelings. (Don’t assume that what you perceive is the only possible truth.)
- Don’t make assumptions about the other party’s perspective. (They may not even be aware that there’s a problem, or it may not be their fault–and they may be happy to help solve it if they’re approached in the right way.)
- State your request clearly, firmly and politely. (And acknowledge any concessions that are granted.)
The Value of Soft Startups – [Ed Batista]