We were about to start a full cast rehearsal for Beauty and the Beast, the upcoming show that season. Most of us had been cast as “Wisps”, a part where you looked like a graceful ninja, moving all the sets around in between scenes.
It was not an exciting part, and I was not excited for rehearsal that day.
Just as the director was calling the wisps to the floor, she stopped the music and said, “The way you all are coming to rehearsal is unacceptable. I’m tired of seeing your tennis shoes, your bad attitudes and your lazy approach to this role…You all are professionals. You better show up dressed as professionals and rehearse as professionals.” And then she pointed at me and with an intensity that I will never forget, ended with…
“And you’re the worst one.”
I turned BRIGHT RED! It was HORRIBLE to be called out in front of everyone.
But she was right. I changed my attitude. Others did as well, and we were better together going forward.
In Crucial Conversations, a course I reference a lot, the theory states that the first time someone does something negative, you give them the benefit of the doubt or the most respectful interpretation, the second time that same thing happens, it could be a coincidence, but the third time…
It’s time to have a crucial conversation with that individual to discuss how their behavior is impacting you or the organization as a whole.
Our director could have just let it go, said “I’ll deal with that later…” But instead she addressed the issue with a crucial conversation, which benefited the entire cast.
It’s not my favorite memory!
Perhaps let it be a challenge to you to consider: Who do you need to have a crucial conversation with today?
And Leaders: Do your managers have enough training to effectively have those hard conversations?