Do You Care Enough? – Part 1
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Would you say that you are a person who cares for others? Do you care for the people on your team? I am sure you would say yes to those questions, and I am not challenging your answers, but do you care enough? Do you care enough to confront them when they need it? Do you care enough to confront them in the right ways? Recently I was thinking on this topic and came across a list of 10 things we need to remember when a confrontation is needed. Let’s take a look at the first five.
- Confront as soon as possible – This has always been a challenge for me. I suppose it’s because I have this hope that things will always get better when the truth is, things will get better when I engage with the person and help them see what’s going wrong. The sooner we correct, the easier the correction will be. Please remember that unspoken expectations are planned disappointments, so we may be the reason things went wrong in the first place.
- Address the wrong action, not the person – When we get frustrated, we often get personal and make it about the person instead of the action. By refocussing on the action, we help the person realize that we are not upset with them but what was done. This allows us to be the coach and help them find a better path.
- Confront what the person can change – As we reflect on the issue at hand, we need to determine if the person can change. Is the issue an aptitude issue? Quite frankly, is the person capable of changing? This doesn’t mean that they are a bad person or even that they don’t fit the organization; perhaps they are just in the wrong job. Maybe a life situation is such that a change may not be possible right now. Trying to force a change will only frustrate everyone involved.
- Give the person the benefit of the doubt – This doesn’t mean that we don’t engage in a conversation about the issue. It does mean that we start the conversation by asking rather than telling. We need to determine the facts from the other person’s perspective.
- Be specific – The more specific we are with our concerns, the easier it will be to find a path forward. Specifics also make it easier to stay away from phrases that can seem like personal attacks.
If you care enough, you can learn to address concerns productively. It just takes time and intentionality. If you would like to hear applications of the first five tips, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 217 of The Next Page podcast.