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A little humility helps, too. For example: “Good morning, everyone. I know I lose points for waiting until Monday morning to drop this bombshell, but we all need to clear the decks to get this annual report to the printer by Wednesday.” Ask your team members what’s on their desks, and brainstorm possible ways to satisfy all of the priorities without compromising the annual report. Think about enlisting some contract help for a few days or negotiate an extension on another project. Get support for your objectives by first acknowledging it’s a big ask, and then jump in to help the team meet the new requirement.

It’s also important to be succinct. Re...

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Cover of Difficult Conversations (20-Minute Manager Series)

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