POWER BOOK: You Have to Say the Words

POWER BOOK is an Aspire blog that features a life changing book. Amanda Scott, an Aspire managing partner, has extensive leadership experience and in this blog features You Have to Say the Words by Kathy Ryan. Thank you for sharing, Amanda!

- Wes Saade, M.D.

 

As a leader, you will find yourself tackling some challenging situations, especially when it comes to the Human Resources side of your business or position.  Kathy Ryan’s book, You Have to Say the Words, will show you how to handle the most difficult conversations with your employees.

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Unlike other books I have featured, I had the honor of actually talking with Kathy Ryan this week to discuss her book!  In her book, You Have to Say the Words, Kathy shows you how important it is to do the right thing in a leadership role with your employees and how to properly approach those difficult situations.

My question to you is:  Do you know how to say the words?

In my experience with companies I have worked with in the past, I found that saying the right words to employees can sometimes be really tough.  But as a great leader, it is something we must do in order to excel.

You may be asking yourself, what are the “words” that need to be said?  Allow me to explain.

Saying the words is voicing your expectations from day one and following through with them.  What do expectations mean to your employees if you do not follow through?  They mean absolutely nothing!

This starts with a commitment to honesty.  If you cannot start there, it is time to step back and re-evaluate your leadership style and ability.  You will not be an effective leader to anyone if you cannot begin with honesty.

Kathy helps you reach in deep and develop what may be lacking.  She will walk you through many hard situations and help you understand the correct way to handle almost anything that may come your way.

  • Building a strong foundation
  • Filling your toolbox
  • Sensitive conversations
  • Paying attention to the details
  • The feedback phase
  • Terminating an employee
  • Crafting your documentation
  • Signatures and witnesses
  • How to bring it all together

These are just a few of the great topics Kathy talks about throughout the book.

In my last position I learned a crucial lesson very early on that if I did not communicate openly and honestly with my employees, as well as set expectations and follow through with them, then IT WAS NOT THE EMPLOYEE THAT FAILED ME, IT WAS I THAT HAD FAILED THE EMPLOYEE.

There were several hard lessons that I had to swallow in my leadership role within the company.  There were many tears that I shed because I was not being a great leader.

After much trial and error early in my career I learned and applied many of the items Kathy covers in the book.

Once I became fully committed to honesty, everything else began to fall into place for me.

After that, regardless how hard it was to tell a person they no longer had a job, I felt at peace with myself, knowing that I did everything I could to help this employee get where they should have been to succeed.

The process of being a great leader is never easy!  And if it ever becomes too easy, it may be time to stop and make sure you are sincerely investing into your people, coaching, and guiding them.

When I had the opportunity to speak with Kathy Ryan a few days ago, I was struck by what an outstanding and knowledgeable person she is.  It was nice to hear the author behind the words and feel an even greater connection.  To hear You Have to Say the Words come straight from Kathy herself was just reassurance that she knows that these six little words are what made her a great leader.

Thank you, Kathy, for sharing your life experiences for all of us to learn from.  Talking with you and reading your book helped me with my confidence in knowing I am on the right path.

If you are in a leadership role and you find it difficult to have hard conversations, set clear expectations, and follow through, then please pick up a copy of Kathy’s book and read it!

Amanda Scott

You can find You Have to Say the Words at amazon.com by clicking the link.

PS – If you believe this blog may benefit someone you know, please consider sharing!

1Comment
  • Kathy Ryan
    Posted at 09:46h, 01 March Reply

    Thank YOU Amanda! It was a pleasure to speak with you. I am always energized by people like you who “get” it; as a leader you OWE it to your people to be honest with them. You have to “Say the Words” that the employee most needs to hear in order to improve their performance, even if it is uncomfortable or scary to say it.

    You and I shared stories of how we learned this lesson the hard way in our careers. My wish for the book is that it can help other leaders learn the communication skills necessary to coach and counsel employees before they make the mistake of sugar coating their messages or avoiding tough conversations all together.

    I appreciate you reading my book and taking the time to speak with me before writing this post! It was a very nice review of my book. I will be sharing it with my tribe and hopefully they will follow your blog and enjoy it as much as I have over the past few months.

    Kathy

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