Talk to people; not about them

October 23, 2009

By Bill Harrison

what are the toughest decisions? You are absolutely correct – people decisions. Do not jump to the conclusion that I am pointing at getting rid of someone; making them a “free agent”. That might be necessary, but it is not the only tough “people decision” out there.

The most challenging people decision that is too often delayed is when we look someone in the eye and tell them where they stand; the good and the bad.
Any client or workshop attendee has heard me say over and over and over: “Talk to people; not about them”.  And remember, unless you tell them differently,
they think they are doing great!  Is everyone doing great? Does anyone need to hear differently?

There are two simple processes for talking to people – verbal or written. Of the two, verbal only is the least effective as most of you can attest.

“I have told him/her/them over and over what the problem is; but nothing changes”. Sound familiar?

A simple procedure is a counseling form I developed when I discovered verbal only was not working.  Many clients are using this. To get a copy, just request it by e-mail.  When a person sees it on paper they know you are serious. All the instructions for using the form are included. Plus, you can always call with a question – and the call is free.

Another excellent method is the semi-annual or annual evaluation. Those familiar with the all inclusive forms I suggest have found this very powerful.  Again, if you have never seen the job description/evaluation/bonus form, please request a sample by e-mail.

We want to avoid confrontation so we are reluctant to look someone in the eye and tell them exactly where they stand; the good and the bad. How is that working for you?

When you are talking from something on paper it takes the “personal attack” out of the equation. And the sooner you deal with issues, the sooner they get resolved. Most issues are resolved quickly when dealt with promptly – try it; you will like it.

Copyright 2009 by PLI, Inc.
The Phoenix Leadership Institute, Inc.
P. O. Box 1403, Centreville, VA 20122
Tel: 703-909-8230, Fax: 703-743-1644

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