We Need to Talk: Ten Tips for Having Difficult Conversations with Truckstop Employees

Employers rarely look forward to difficult conversations, but they can be necessary to effectively manage a team. Avoiding conflict can lead to greater issues down the road. Whether it’s a performance issue, a personality conflict or a dissatisfied employee, truckstop owners and operators said addressing the issue head-on, being empathetic and documenting the discussion can make it easier to navigate a challenging conversation.

“For me all difficult conversations start with the goal of leaving the team member with dignity, a plan for success and a way out if they cannot meet expectations,” said Ericka Schapekahm, director of human resources and special projects for Coffee Cup Fuel Stops. “I have found that setting expectations, always being honest and including them in the solution takes the sting out of difficult conversations and is more likely to make it a positive experience...”

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Mindy Long's photo

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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