Dear Christian Radio,

Easy never changed the world.  That’s why we are challenging Christian Radio to do hard things.  In our series #ENCW: The Next Steps we presented five questions that every station, its leadership, and staff should begin asking one another.  Last week, to begin our series, we shared how PAR escaped its own complacency by learning how to dream again.  This week, we focus on the immeasurable importance of conversations.

Conversations matter.  In fact, your organization can’t be healthy if you’re not having them regularly.  That’s exactly what today’s question (Question #2) encourages us all to do…have meaningful conversations.

Q2: What ONE conversation do you need to have at your organization that will be hard, but will help you win?

Questions like these often stir up a great deal of anxiety.  Consequently, anxiety gives way to excuse making…perhaps you’ve even used them, yourself.  Here are three quick examples:

  • “I can’t approach that topic. It will upset him.  And…it isn’t Christian to upset another person.”
  • “To be honest, I’m scared to have that conversation.  What if that person ends up not liking me anymore?”
  • “I’m not built to have confrontational conversations.  I just can’t do it.”

 

In talking with other stations, this is by far the area that needs the most work.  Having those hard conversations isn’t easy, but is very necessary.  Jack Welch calls it candor; Henry Cloud addresses it as the fourth cornerThe place where you practice honesty.  Ryan Holiday writes that the ego has to die and we must address the issues within ourselves and those we lead.  What’s more, Lencioni states that an extraordinary leader encourages his/her team to fight like cousins, so issues are wrestled to the ground.

So, how did PAR go from toxic and broken to where it is today?  We had the hard conversations.  By not having the conversation now, the peace you have today will eventually erupt into an unhealthy and broken culture in the not so distant future.

Is there a person in your building who thinks he or she should be the leader?  Are they causing division and resentment for the actual leader?   Have the conversation.

Do you have a chronic complainer on staff?  As the leader, you may not care; you may choose to overlook it.  But friend, here is the reality…I guarantee you that person is poisoning the rest of the staff.  No matter your actions and progress, that person is or will soon stifle passion.   Have the conversation.

More still…when is the last time you did an air check, had an income review or held performance reviews?  Have the conversation.

So, I know what you’re asking, because we asked the same question…“But how?  How do I have that conversation?” 

Here’s how…

  • Be honest, not a jerk. There is a difference.
  • Don’t dance around the issue(s) hoping the person picks up on the clues and hints.
  • View the issue as a bull’s-eye. Aim for it. Hit it dead center.  

 

Ask the person to repeat back to you the issue(s) and solution steps.  This will reveal if there is clarity and progress.   If you haven’t achieved clarity, tackle it again. 

Remember, you can do this.  God has placed you in that role to fulfill the mission and vision of your organization.  Be the leader.

Dear Christian Radio,

  1. Identify which conversations need to happen and with whom.
  2. Have the conversation. Be honest.  Use candor.  Don’t be a jerk.
  3. Don’t leave the meeting until clarity is achieved.

 

Easy Never Changed the World –

Brian Sanders
Executive Vice-President
Positive Alternative Radio

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