The Importance of Tough Conversations

The toughest thing about tough conversations is that they are tough. They may be hard, but they are effective and efficient. At the end of the day, these conversations will create more trust, instead of decreasing trust. I truly value people who can have tough conversations. It tells me that you think like an owner, take accountability, and want what’s best for the company, not yourself. 

I’ve always wanted Fort to be an inspiring place to work. A large part of this is creating a culture that allows and encourages these tough conversations. Disagreements can exist and different opinions are allowed to exist. It helps create the culture of iron sharpening iron—we will all rise together.

Tough conversations give us a chance to learn, improve, and move on—and do it all quickly. They come in all shapes and forms, but at the core, they come from a place of honesty. When had genuinely, the tough ones are the conversations that will create the most progress, clarity, and growth as you move forward.

There is a quote from IBM’s CEO, Ginni Rometty, that I will never forget hearing: “Growth and comfort don’t coexist.” If you are in your comfort zone, it’s hard to grow. As soon as you move outside your comfort zone, you grow.

In looking around at my closest relationships, I’ve noticed that these are the relationships where transparency and honesty flow freely, both with the easy stuff and the tough stuff. As long as someone else has to have the conversation for me, I’m cheating myself and those around me. I’ve also learned that if the person receiving the tough information can’t handle it, that’s on them, not on me.

Honest feedback and conversations are a gift to those looking to grow and improve. Even if you don’t like conflict, these conversations must be had, so it’s important to learn how to do them right.

–Chris Powers

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