RELATIONSHIPS • the answers

I am the chief executive at my company. The performance of a long-time colleague and friend has been slipping that past year or so, and I need to address their performance as it is affecting our business. How do I broach this thorny subject and not lose a friend?

From: Allen

John: What you have described is not uncommon. I agree you should meet and meet soon. The longer you wait, the greater the impact to your business. When you meet, clearly state the current situation. What behaviors have you observed in their behavior? Quantify the impact these behaviors are having on the business and what is at stake. Then sit quietly and listen. Listen completely and try to leave judgment out of the conversation. This opens the door for the possibility of mutual solutions and continued respect.