If youSomething you may not know about me is that I run another business for pet sitting where I look after pets of all kinds in the pet’s home.

I get loads of hugs from the pets and appreciation from the pet’s owners.

Not so different from coaching really.

Both are great for my emotional well-being.

One thing I have observed in coaching leaders of small businesses is that their business starts with their passion and when it grows, the new team members almost seem like one of the family.

Great! Yes?

When there is a behaviour that you don’t really fancy it can seem even more difficult to broach it with them.

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you are feeling frustrated and a bit stuck because over time, you are getting the same response from them when you have previously raised the same issue and nothing has changed.

Perhaps your energy is now drained.

I have a couple of pet sitting staff and what clients love about my services is reliability and trust.

When seeking out others to join the team, I rely on those staff to be, in essence, another me.

What became very obvious after hiring the 4th person is that if I get an uneasy sense from the first meeting or conversation I should listen to that little voice inside.

I am always banging on about listening to others, however, it starts with me.

If I can listen to myself first, I will be a better listener for others and be more prepared for those awkward conversations.

Of course, I often don’t listen to myself, and that’s where the guidelines below become my safety net.

One of the most important phrases that I heard recently is “let your breath be your companion”.

This reminds me to switch on my ears and my curiosity and has been a lifesaver many many times.

Whatever the reason for your feeling uncomfortable about another’s actions or inactions, no bother, I have a shortlist to support that upcoming awkward conversation.

The first thing to avoid is the either-or scenario.

– Either they get with the proggie or they are given the 3rd and final warning.

I have never seen behaviour change from this method, at least not long term.

What is it I really want? Go general to start getting the need that motivates your wanting cooperation will be key to the conversation. This will be your firm base to launch from. Grab a needs list from me to help you here.

Are you on the same page?

Have I requested the specific behaviour or routine that I would like at any point during their engagement?

And how have they understood this?

Getting them to tell you what they understand the behaviour to be and why it’s important to you, will quickly let you know if you are on the same page.

When someone says yes I understand you still don’t really know what it is they understand until you get it reflected back.

Was it really a request?

Just because you are putting it as a request doesn’t make you weak.

You start with it as a request which often gets you closer to having the cooperation you want as they can only be free to Yes if they are free to say no.

Of course, if you have reached your final straw then giving edicts or final chances will probably mean you will be looking for a replacement staff member very soon no matter what warnings you give.

How many times have you lost interest, been embarrassed or been hurt when someone has demanded something of you?

Have I spent a few minutes empathising with myself?

Writing down my feelings and needs provides great clarity on what you have been longing for and to feel normal for wanting these qualities in your life. Check out the Universal needs list to help you here.

Torturing yourself with “was I clear at the beginning of the contract”? is not productive and just delays the conversation.

With this employee, It doesn’t really matter what was said or not said.

Having this tricky situation helps you prepare for the next staff member or anyone you need to work with in the future, even if it’s preparing breakfast with your partner.

Supporting people to have these difficult conversations and role-play scenarios is what I live for.

If you need support don’t suffer by yourself reach out here: click here to book a chat

Last but most importantly ….

have I role played or practised what I will say in a safe space before having the conversation will get you a better outcome. If you get a chance to hear what you imagine your nightmare response from them might be and empathise with it, you will have prepared yourself for what you currently believe is the worst possible outcome.

General guidelines for cooperation:

  • Encourage two-way feedback
  • Clarity of roles and responsibilities
  • Build the team spirit
  • Guidelines on using time wisely
  • Training
  • Use appropriate forms of communication

However, when things aren’t working and you are not looking forward to working with this person you need to deal with it quickly as it will start draining your energy as well and the energy you show other can start to affect the business.

If you are unsure if anything will help you now as you have tried everything you know, jump on a quick call with me and let’s see where you’re at and if this is the right fit for where you’re at. 

lots of love


Before you leave why not get a bit of motivation and listen to the song Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now -Starship. If you would like to find out more about how to gain cooperation from a particular team member click the Let’s Chat button below.

How to make difficult conversations painless and productive.



Is it becoming difficult to talk to your boss, partner or family member?


I have seen otherwise savvy, intelligent professionals self-destruct because of the dismissive way their manager or family member have treated them.


If not speaking up, talking louder or talking over someone to get your point across has started to become your go to method of conflict resolution, please put your details in the space below where I will give you 3 things you can do instead. 


ACCESS THE GUIDE HERE: https://www.keystoneskills.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/How-to-make-difficult-conversations-productive-and-painless-_-1.pdf