8 Scripts for Confronting Challenging Employees Thank You – HarperCollins Leadership Essentials

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What’s better than 8 word-for-word scripts to guide you through the toughest employee conversations? Hundreds of them.


Get the verbiage and scripts you need for every situation you might face as an employer or manager.

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101 Tough Conversations to Have With Employees

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10 Things this Book Will Teach You

  1. Use the 9 Rules of Engagement to manage uncomfortable workplace situations (like disciplinary and attitude problems, inappropriate appearance choices, and social and cultural differences) 

  2. Learn ways to help your employees pinpoint the source of their own performance transgressions and the reasons they violate policy or procedure

  3. Discover how to conduct above-the-board performance reviews (ones that treat employees with respect and allow them to maintain their dignity)

  4. Practice "perception management" to keep conversations under your control (with a special focus on clarity)

  5. Help new managers overcome "new supervisor syndrome" (your experienced managers have different issues to address)

  6. Get the best methods for laying off an employee (we all hate to do it, but there is a better way to cut ties)

  7. Avoid "off the record" discussions that put your company in legal jeopardy

  8. Master the art of "positive confrontation" to maintain productive employee relations

  9. Encourage employees to take responsibility (so you can get past problems quicker and with less anger)

  10. Develop leadership skills to manage well even during tough times.

Why Every Leader Needs This on Their Desk

101 Tough Conversations is the most comprehensive reference manual for getting through tough conversations with employees without burning bridges. There isn’t another book out there that walks you through the conversation you might have with a number of employees around a number of disciplinary and termination topics.

If you’re having trouble communicating with your employees, you’re not alone. You haven’t been trained.

Small problems turn into bigger ones not because you don’t want to fix them but because you have been trained to avoid them so you don’t hurt people’s feelings. This is the core paradigm in 101 Tough Conversations: Treat people with dignity and respect at all times, even through the discipline and termination processes.

Paul Falcone, the most published expert on HR leadership, is known for his ability to analyze a personal situation and distill a response into simple scripts that can be easily applied to any workplace challenge. Here, he leans into real-life experiences and proven concepts in the HR field to create more than one hundred scripts that make taking action painless and avoidance impractical.

101 Tough Conversations will change the way you approach the most serious employee obstacles and give you the words and strategies you need to transform your teams - whether you are an entrepreneur or a new manager who is managing people for the first time.

This book empowers you to stop problems in their tracks by providing a strategic game plan and the right verbiage so you don’t have to wonder how to react.

What Readers Are Saying

I am a HR professional and typically always recommend Paul Falcone’s books! This one is by far one of my favorites! There’s such great information to help any leader have those very common difficult and often uncomfortable conversations. There are many real life scenarios depicted in this book that make tackling these conversations much easier. I highly recommend to anyone in a leadership role or even to simply enhance general communication as it gives you great guidelines to tailor your conversation. Buy it and thank me later :-)

Erika W.

I love that the starting point is respect for the employee. The advice is very realistic and I love that it provides scripts that can be easily customized.

Elicia L.

This is my go to resource as an employee relations professional hands down. I have read this book, marked my favorite sections, dog eared and shared this to no end within my practice as an HR Professional. I use this resource often as a gift for leaders and HR Pros when I am speaking and as an onboarding tool within my own team. Truly worth the investment, and will even inspire and develop your own critical thinking process when coaching your leaders.

Tracey F.

About Paul Falcone

This book isn’t Paul Falcone’s first walk around the press. He is a Chief Human Resources Officer and the author of titles ranging from 2600 Effective Phrases for Performance Reviews to 96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire, and so much more.

Drawing on his experience in senior-level human resources positions at companies including Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and Motion Picture & Television Fund, Falcone delivers the secrets behind finding the right hires, developing positive employee relationships, and being the best leader you can be for your team.

Procrastination is so yesterday.

Do your future team a favor by addressing today’s problems with certainty.