3 Tips for Communicating with Your Company’s Top Performers

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High-maintenance high-performers: Working with a high-performer can be either exhilarating or exasperating. It all depends on how you react to the challenges that come with it. Most likely, this high-performer can be also high-maintenance – which has its benefits along with its drawbacks.

Usually high performers are inspiring, charismatic, focused, direct and driving. Yet with their high-maintenance flaws like being confrontational, demanding, and impatient, it’s often hard to align goals and strategies with such roadblocks between the lines of communication.

In their direct and often abrupt communication style, high-maintenance high-performers want to run the show. They have their ideas, their vision, and the way they want to do it. Where does that leave you but to follow their direction and try and be as efficient as possible.

Miscommunication often comes out of the rubble when these high-performers start making moves. Preventing such miscommunication is a tricky task, especially if you’re dealing with a superior. So here are three key strategies that are effective with high performers:


  1. Coach or guide your high-performers. Don’t tell them.

High-maintenance high-performers very much dislike being told what to do. Communicating with such people doesn’t have to be so disruptive through confrontation, but asking questions rather than giving answers avoids the mistake of telling rather than guiding. Giving options rather than prescribing gives them the continued freedom to operate it their own way.  


  1. Give them the information they need to make decisions.

Dealing with high-maintenance high-performers probably puts you in the position of dealing with a lot of impatience in almost everything they do. Getting frustrated with those that can’t stick to the subject at hand is common with this behavioral style. They are also ready to see the bottom line, so be prepared with ALL the information they need to go for gold immediately.


  1. Don’t talk about rules and restrictions.

Sounds more like a ‘fight-club’ rule but really, high-maintenance high-performers do not like being told what to do. If you really need to change the direction of your high-maintenance high-performer, then use the appropriate coaching language to help them understand the consequences of their current direction. Language such as ‘what if’ questions may suit well as it engages them in the obstacles that they might not have thought of. Mastering how to communicate with a high-maintenance high-performer will minimize time resolving conflicts and increase time moving forward together as a team to achieve your collective goals.


Working with a high-performer calls for a specific approach that one can develop and enhance if they want to make the relationship between themselves and a high-maintenance high-performer easier. If you are interested in identifying and developing your company’s high performers, contact us to start a discussion today.