Victory in HardTalk isn’t ‘winning’ the argument and glowing in the immediate aftermath, even though it feels good. To truly emerge victorious, you should be able to achieve your long-term result – and chances are, despite some bumps on the road to victory, your HardTalk partner likely shares the same goal.  

Take the consultant who had concerns around the new regime of regional travel required. She understood that, due to the client workload, it was necessary to have on-the-ground support in different territories in the coming weeks. But she was also worried about the impact it would have on the team – particularly among the more junior members who were still cutting their teeth in such a hands-on role. When she raised her concerns to her director, they were rebuffed – the work simply had to get done and that was that, it was all hands on deck. In fact, she was surprised at the somewhat rude reaction she received.  

Despite being angry, she stopped herself from calling him out.  

When we spoke with her, we asked her to consider her director’s ‘potential’. Was it really that he cared so little about the impact on the team? Or could it be that he was in fact under increasing pressure to deliver? Maybe he was simply having a bad day and as a result, his purpose had shifted off course.  

Considering this allowed her to reassess her response and put her emotions to one side. When she picked the conversation back up, she outlined her purpose and proposed a travel rota that ensured continuity of client servicing but also allowed the team a break from plane-hopping.  

Guess what? Her director agreed that it was a good solution. It’s already been implemented.

In the majority of cases people are ‘good’ in the context of HardTalk. They care about the organisation and their work but of course, because people are messy, the need for difficult conversations can arise. We ask you to consider what does victory mean to you? A more productive and collaborative team? A better bottom line? We’d be very surprised if your HardTalk partner has a different version of victory.


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