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Approaching a conversation about improving an employee’s performance requires preparation, empathy, and a focus on collaboration. Even though hearing the truth about their current performance will be tough and potentially hurtful, it’s a teaching moment managers must embrace to help them become more resilient and adept at problem-solving and developing professional relationships. The author offers several strategies for treating difficult performance conversations not as fault-finding missions, but instead as opportunities to work collaboratively to define a shared commitment to growth and development.