How to Say What Needs to Be Said

accountability active involvement advisory calls anxiety business business owners clarity clients communication competence decision-making deliver results engagement expectations fear female entrepreneur feminine founder high performing team info session leadership meetings participating performance professional call relationship revenue roles vision webinars Apr 15, 2024


In this episode of Leadership is Feminine, host Kris Plachy dives into the essential topic of expressing assertiveness and setting boundaries in professional settings. Kris illuminates the difference between what people say when they don't feel the need to guard what they say, versus what they convey in less clear ways when they feel protective.

Kris emphasizes that the majority of women she coaches need guidance to articulate what needs to be said fearlessly and in clear terms. She candidly explores her own journey of setting stronger expectations during her info sessions, transforming them into active, participative experiences rather than passive webinars.

A significant theme that emerges is how essential it is to set clear expectations, whether that's in team interactions, client meetings, or personal relationships. Kris candidly discusses her own experiences navigating this and shares how she boldly updated her expectations for those attending her sessions.

This episode is an eye-opener for leaders who shy away from clarity over fear of losing people; it’s time to embrace transparency and enforce consequences for unmet expectations.

“You run a company. If you're not clear about the agreements and the expectations for what it means to come work for you, they get to make the rules be whatever they want.
And who could blame them?”

Key Takeaways From This Episode

  1. Importance of Clear Communication in Leadership: Challenges faced by female leaders

  2. The Impact of Not Speaking Up on Relationships and Teamwork: Addressing the fear of retribution when being honest and clear

  3. Kris’ Example Setting and Communicating Expectations: Reflection on need for setting and enforcing clear expectations for attendees

  4. Leaders Managing Expectations in Business Settings: Parallels drawn from the info session example to managing a team/business

  5. Handling Unmet Expectations

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Well, hey, hey, welcome to Leadership is Feminine. This is Kris Plachy. I'm so happy you're here. Happy, happy, happy. Oh my goodness. I have a lot I want to say. So that's actually what this podcast is about, is how to say what you need to say.

We want to talk about the difference between what people say when they don't feel like they have to protect or guard what they say, and then what they say to the person that needs to hear what they say in a way that isn't as clear.

I would say that the majority of the women that work with me, one of the pieces of help support, one of the elements that I provide to them that is probably not necessarily always expected, is helping them find their ability to say what needs to be said, and to literally help them with the words of it.

So, you know, every week on my advisory calls, we talk about and talk through challenges that people are facing with their teams and decisions they have to make. And a lot of times those are conversations. And it's like, how do I say, how do I say what I need to say? Right. And I understand that because that is gap for so many of us.

And I think the good news is I've done this so much. I don't really feel like there's anything that you could bring to a call and I wouldn't be able to help you figure out how to say. The question is, are you willing to say it? And that's another whole thing we'd have to unpack, right?

Because the reason that we don't say what needs to be said is because we have a lot of anxiety or fear or worry or terror over what will happen in our conversation or what will happen in the relationship if we say what needs to be said.

But if we don't say what needs to be said, then are we actually in a relationship? Are they actually working with someone they know? Are they working with someone that they think they know based on the way that you communicate that's not really you? You with me?

I'm going to use a really dumb example, but I think it's funny. So I'm using it. So last week I did an information session and my information sessions are different than most other people's that I get invited to, to be frank. So I will say at the outset, it was good insight for me. This whole thing has been good insight for me because I can do a better job.

My info sessions are personal. They're intimate. There's usually less than 10 people on a call. We can all see each other. So we're looking at each other's faces and we're talking to each other and we're answering each other's questions. And I'm engaging with them to get to know you as a client, to get to know what it is that you need to ask you specific questions.

And then, my info sessions that I'm doing right now, I'm talking about the five questions every female entrepreneur must be able to answer in order to build a high performing team. Then we go through where you are with those questions and why you might be struggling with them. And how what I do in One Hour Leader resolves that, right? This is good news.

But you know, it's small, as I said. So it's not like you can hide in the back. So I think a lot of people sign in or opt into these things, thinking they're just going to be able to watch me like it's coach TV. Coaching TV, there's going to be someone there who's just going to yammer at them while they read their email or, you know, paint their nails or make their dinner or whatever's going on in their lives.

And I completely understand. That's what people would think, because that is what the circumstances are a 99. 99 percent of the live info sessions, webinars that you're invited to. However, it's not what I do. And so last week we had, we had people - and even though I say in my emails, you know, "Please have your camera on. Please join." You know, this, I try to do this. People still come without their camera on.

And I think it's important that, you know, if you come to my info session without your camera on, I immediately assume you're not supposed to be there. I assume you want to hear what I have to say, but you, maybe you're not a female entrepreneur, maybe you're a competitor, maybe you're just someone who's learning and you're trying to figure things out, right?

So I have this whole process too, when I can't see your face. Because it's like me sitting in a living room with four people I can't see. It's not like sitting in a stadium where I can't see the stage or I can't see the seat. But the best one was this last week. We had someone come. She was on her phone and she had her camera on, but she was in bed.

And she wasn't really in bed, like propped up, like with her pillow. I mean, I can understand maybe you're unwell, but you really want to be there. And so you do your best and you, right. You don't have to have all the makeup on. I'm not talking about that. She was in the bed, like under trying to like, I don't even know if she knew that we could see her. I honestly don't know.

And so it was very distracting because it was sort of on my lower left side as I'm looking at the screen and it kept moving and she kept moving around. It was very odd. So anyway, I slacked. All right. I chatted with my colleague, Michelle, and said, "Hey, I think we need to let her go. Cause I don't think she knows that we're seeing her in the bed. Before this gets weird. Better if we remove her."

But this is the second time. Although the one that other one I had was we asked people to answer questions through a video. And this woman was like laying on her couch. She looked like she was either hungover or high. And she was talking about her, what she wanted in her life. Oh, dear. But that was just a video that was not a live interaction.

And so, it sort of occurred to me. So I have conversations with my clients all the time. You tell me, you know, I've asked, I've told them what I want them to do. I've laid out my expectations. I've said what, you know, I think I should say, but I'm still not getting what I think I should get back. I'm like, well, if we're, clear about what we're saying, and we're still not getting what we should get back, then now we have to sort of decide what we're going to do about it. Or we have to evaluate, was I really clear?

So I'm going to do another info session this week. And probably by the time you listen to this, you'll see that there's another info session. So. You know, if you're on my mailing list, you'll get that information. If you're not, just go to to get your name on my mailing list, because I only send these info session invitations to people who are on my private subscriber list.

So if you do want to get invited, you have to be on the list. I should tell you that. So just go to and sign up for Kris notes, you know, get yourself on the name on the list so that you get updates and ideas and all the things.

But I thought about the clients that I work with and the conversations that I have with them. And I thought, okay, so this is also a perfect example of, if I have, you know, a large percentage of the people who come to my calls don't have their camera on, and one of them is in the bed, I've either not set clear expectations or I'm not holding them, right? There's no consequence if you don't meet my expectations, right?

And I was agitated, right, on the call because there were all these people who didn't have their camera on and weren't engaging, and yet they were in my living room, right? And so I was very uncomfortable, but that's on me. Because I did set the expectation when people book to come to an info session, I do say that this is a live call. The expectation is you're having your camera on. It's for women who are running seven figure businesses. Like I'm doing my best to be clear. So if I'm clear, but they get to stay in this case, am I actually holding my own expectation?

Now, in the case that I'm using, the example of last week, I did say, "Hey, turn on your cameras. I can't see you." And they didn't. And I still let them stay.

So I thought about this and I thought, this is annoying. I don't like this part. So I redrafted my email that I will send to people when they've decided to join me on an info session. And I'm going to tell you exactly what it says, because again, I do find that this is where we, we struggle is the words.

So I'm going to read to you what I wrote. Some of you will be like, what? All right, some of you will cringe and some of you may never listen to my podcast again, but what I want you to understand is, it's okay. Because if I'm clear about my expectations and I'm clear about what the agreement is, this is my free info meeting that I'm hosting.

I am excited to work with anyone who wants to work with me, but let's be clear. No one's entitled to get what they want it to look like in my living room, right? You run a company. If you're not clear about the agreements and the expectations for what it means to come work for you, they get to make the rules be whatever they want. And who could blame them? They're doing it with their own brain, not yours. So you can't get resentful of people who don't follow your expectations if you're not clear about them. And if there's no consequence.

So I would much rather on the very front end, where like, "Oh, yeah, no, you're not my girl. I get it." I don't want to hang out with people whose feathers get ruffled if all I'm doing is being clear. But there's so many people who have an expectation that women shouldn't be clear. Women should just tolerate. Women should just be nice. Don't be so demanding, Kris.

No, I'm gonna be demanding. You know why? Because my clients expect me to be. My clients expect that when they come into my space, it's legit. It's professional. That I reinforce what I teach. And for the most part, I do my best at that, but I can always get better.

So here's what I wrote: my information sessions are different. I know you're used to going to webinars and info sessions where all you see is the host talking to you for an hour or so. I realized that's been the main approach for disseminating information to potential clients for years now. I don't do it that way. And I think it's important if you do sign up for an info session with me, that you know what to expect. I host information sessions as live experiences for potential clients. These are not webinars. You are not there to be an observer. You are there to be a participant, an invited guest.

I request that all of my participants have their camera on and are ready to engage with me on the call. If you want to passively observe, that's fine. Just watch the replay. If you come to the actual session and you don't turn your camera on, we will disconnect you from the meeting. If you come to a session with your camera on and you're laying in your bed on your couch or something else we can't quite make out, we will disconnect you from the meeting as well.

This is a professional call for female founders who are generating at least a million in their revenue in their business. This is not something you do because you're bored. This is not for coaches or consultants who want to eavesdrop on my session. This is for you if you are a female business owner who leads a successful business and wants very concise and very actionable recommendations for how she can improve how she leads her team.

I will be sharing the five questions you need to be able to answer if you want to build a high performing team. In order for me to help you best on the call, you must participate. If any of this doesn't appeal to you, it's not a problem at all. Click here and we will remove you from any upcoming invitations.

If this is exactly what you want, then just hit reply with a thumbs up so we can make sure to keep you on this list. I want you to know that I am a lot of fun, but I also don't fuck around. I'm serious about what I do and I expect to work with people who are equally committed to making the changes and the results that they're getting with their team so they can have a bigger impact with their business. If that's you. Let's fricking go. Cheers.

So, I think some people would say, "Kris, you shouldn't send that." And I think those people are probably not my client. What I would love is that there will be people who read that and say, "Okay, this is a woman who's teaching other women how to lead on their own terms. That's what I do." And I think if that makes you uncomfortable, there's work to do. Because if you can't say, what you expect. If you feel sheepish about it, if you feel afraid to do it, if you have fear that you're going to lose people over it, you're not fulfilling your own terms. You're living by the terms either of those people or of some beliefs that you have about how who you're supposed to be to be likable and lovable.

And that is why you keep spinning on poor results and team members that don't align with what you want so much to have happen in your business, nothing can change. Nothing can actually happen until we set proper expectations. And then if we know we've done it well, and we know we've been clear, and then they still don't meet those expectations, we have to tell them what will happen.

In my case, if you don't meet my expectations, we'll ask you to leave the call or we'll just sign you off. Right? That's, that's my favorite. This, I know that's a little easier than just, signing off an employee. I do know that. However, it's the same concept, right?

What happens if an employee doesn't do what you've asked them to do over and over and over again? Do you just keep asking? Is that what you do? Or do you do it yourself? Or do you assign it to someone else? Or do you not really do anything and then you just talk to your spouse or your friend or whoever and you just cringe and yell and scream and vent over someone's failure to perform, but nothing changes, right? The reason that you built a business is to deliver on a vision and the way that we deliver on a vision is by achieving results and the way that we achieve results is by identifying roles that we want to have in our company that will contribute at whatever level, or whatever it is that they do to deliver those results. Is it amazing when we all get along and it all goes great? Yes. And the better you get at clarifying what those agreements are on the front end, the better you'll be at bringing the right people in.

But if you think you're just hiring people to get work done and you don't give them clarity around expectations and agreements. And even if you do, and they don't deliver and they get to stay, then something in there has to change. And the best news is you have a lot of control over that.

So if you spend any length of time here, you know, there's a lot of other podcasts I talk about, about being helpless in your business, abdicating in your business, right? Not holding people accountable, just having difficult conversations. If you've been listening to this podcast for a long time and we still haven't worked together, you know, everything you need is in this podcast.

So there's still a reason you haven't made the changes you need to make if you're still banging your head on the wall. And a lot of us need a little extra help and support. And that's why I regularly invite you to work with me. So if you're ready to do that, then just go to Join the Kris notes mailing list, and we will get you the information you need. Or, tune in to the next podcast because I got you mama, talk to you next time.

Remember that I asked you to be a part of my Catalyst podcast event, where I'm inviting you to become a visionary Catalyst, share the podcast link with women that you know. And as soon as you hit 20 shared links, clicks on those, we can measure that. I'm going to give you one of my bonus digital courses.

Go to Get yourself registered. Grab the podcast link. Super easy, and please share it with women that you know that are leading in the world, because I'd love to be able to impact 20 million women. I know that when women feel more confident in who they are as leaders. It changes who they are in their lives.

Let's help women live and lead on their own terms. I can't wait to see how many clicks we get. Let's get it.

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