Individual Challenges Should Be Addressed One-on-One

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to teach a webinar for members of the American Staffing Association on creating a culture of accountability. During the Q&A portion of the session, one attendee asked a question that many leaders have wondered about at one time time or another.

Q: Sometimes leaders approach things that need to be fixed by addressing a whole team, rather than the specific individual, so as not to point fingers. Is this a good process?

A: Team meetings to approach individual issues aren’t really the best situation because it can be seen as generic and “not for me” information. Sometimes the person actually doing the issue that the leader is talking about doesn’t think he/she is the one doing it, so he/she deflects the thought that it’s “me” and it must be someone else. Or maybe this is just a “nice to know” speech from the leader. Typically the challenge can be handled with much more effectiveness when directly communicating with the individual. Many times when a leader addresses individual issues with the whole team, they’re hoping to avoid conflict.

For guidance on how to address a performance issue, check out a previous blog post, “7 Tips for Growing Teammates Through Critical Conversations.”

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