Sunday, November 8, 2015
Why do supervisors avoid confronting employees about their performance issues?
The most common reason for avoiding confrontation is fear. Overcoming this fear is accomplished by understanding how to use an effective approach. Being firm and direct, and not sugar coating the message is important, but this can be accomplished in a way that eliminates heavy-handedness and engenders cooperation. For example, “Bill, I received feedback about your customer presentation yesterday, and I want to share it with you.” “Bill, some customers felt your presentation lacked depth in its details, leaving them feeling more confused. Were you aware of these concerns?” “Bill, I want to work with you to improve your marketing presentation, how would you suggest we go about making such improvements?” Notice in these examples how the supervisor elicits a “partnering” approach to solving problems. The concerns of the supervisor are concrete, and the approach is likely to elicit better cooperation in solving the performance issues versus harming the relationship by making the employee feel scolded.