Almost every day I hear a leader describe their unhappiness about a team member’s performance or behaviour.
But when I ask the leader how candid they’ve been with their team member about this, the leader often says something like, “Well, I haven’t actually had a chance to talk with them about it yet.”
This Is When My Alarm Bell Rings
I respond by saying, “Given your dissatisfaction with your team member’s performance or behaviour, what’s stopped you from making the candid conversation a priority?”
Typically the leader’s says, “To be honest, because I don’t want them to be offended or upset, I haven’t known what to say.”
(Beware, I’m going to take a tough stance here!)
In my mind, putting off speaking with your team member about their performance or behaviour is simply not good enough.
No Complaining About A Team Member Unless You’ve Given Them Feedback, OK?
When you notice you’re thinking about a team member in a negative way when you haven’t had an authentic conversation with them—will you do a 180-degree turn with your finger?
Will you point your finger inwards and ask yourself, “What is stopping me from communicating candidly with them?”
Why Is Avoiding Giving Team Members Candid Feedback So Prevalent?
I understand you have good reasons to sidestep being candid with your team member:
- You’re experiencing tough time pressures. There aren’t too many leaders these days who’re on top of their To Do List. Most of you are running from meeting to meeting with barely time to “scratch yourself” between them.
- Giving feedback can be an uncomfortable thing to do—particularly if you don’t have a proven model to help you.
But hang on, let’s look at what’s actually happening…
If you’re one of the many leaders who’s not giving enough feedback to people in your team, I have an inkling that you’re putting your own discomfort with difficult situations, ahead of both:
- Your organisation’s desire to maximise results, and
- Your team member’s need to perform effectively.
The Costs Of Not Giving Candid Feedback
Regardless of your organisation’s and your team’s needs, there’s another very real cost of you not being candid with a team member…
Consciously or unconsciously, you beat yourself up when you’re avoiding dealing with a potentially tricky situation.
Yep, avoiding dealing with something has a huge negative impact on your self-esteem and on your confidence.
Your Call to Action
A “tricky situation” doesn’t have to be a tricky situation!
With good guidelines and a template for how to approach them, in no time you’ll confidently and courageously be stepping up and having candid conversations with your team members (and others).
And they can be supportive, connecting conversations that make a positive difference to your team member, the organisation and your leadership.
You’ll wonder why you didn’t deal with the situation months ago :-).
“Carolyn’s authenticity and candour impressed me immediately
and her wealth of experience gave me complete confidence in her abilities.
She has helped me unleash my true capability and leverage skills
to be a more effective leader.”
—Senior Leader, Aviation Industry
About The Author:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with executives and leaders for more than 25-years.
She’s helped hundreds of leaders flourish and become more confident, courageous and impressively influential (including those who’ve previously struggled to confront difficult situations, let alone persuasively deal with them).
Plus, as a personal career strategist, she specialises in helping ambitious female senior executives create a reputation as an indispensable world-class leader.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She’ll draw on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit your situation.
She’s never too busy to talk to you if you’re in a hurry to boost your success. Same goes for leaders you refer.
Just email if you’d like to arrange a time to chat: firstname.lastname@example.org