Is there ever a good time for a difficult conversation? The one about long-term issues that have to be addressed. The one about attitude and performance. The one that sets the bar for everything after.

Maybe right before the weekend so they have time to think about it, or first thing on Monday so it doesn’t ruin their weekend. How about the very next time you see them whenever that is, or, let’s get them on the phone right now.

As with all people decisions … as soon as you’ve made the decision, act: set a date.

Ideal – face-to-face, one-to-one, off site, enough time, fully prepared, no distractions.

The only negotiable is proximity. If you have to be apart, video is better than voice.

(Obvious subtext: never in a conference call)

Difficult conversations deserve respect. Treat them seriously, give time to digest, follow up.

Skippy strategy: If you were on the other end …