There was a certain gloom that hung over this day for me. Mainly because the gentleman in the post, “Communication Failure” was counseled today about his leadership and communication failures. This was long overdue, but confrontation is never a pleasant matter. Whether I like it or not, I find myself a very sympathetic person. I have a hard time watching others (even in movies) going through stressful moments – because I can very easily imagine myself in that same situation.
The gentleman in question had been put in an impossible situation, sort of like asking a fish to climb a tree. He had neither the skills or personality to be a leader at this level and was allowed to flounder until those of us around him could not take it any longer. A frank and honest conversation was long overdue – and will help him in the long run – but that didn’t make it any easier.
As we prepared for that conversation I reflected on some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years about confronting reality. Here are a few.
- You are an adult, not a child. Adults should handle confrontation in a calm and professional manner.
- Don’t beat around the bush – present the facts of the situation in a non-biased and unemotional way.
- Use straight talk – don’t try to minimize or use wishy-washy language.
- When you present criticism, ensure you also present what should or could have been done to prevent or mitigate the action. Provide solutions, not just problems.
- Don’t get pulled into a “he said, she said” argument. The conversation should be mostly one sided if it’s gone this far.
- Use terms like “the team or organization was affected by your actions” then explain how.
- Last, if the person was put in bad situation to begin with, explain what you and the organization are going to do to place them in a job or area where they can succeed.
Another reason I was melancholy today, September 8th is my Mother’s birthday – she went to heaven three years ago – and I miss her every day.