I recently finished reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. She describes a situation between a principal and a teacher and compares it to an experience she had with a challenging grade in a college paper. She was ready to do battle, standing in front of the professors desk to defend her work. But that’s not what happened. Instead, the professor invited Brené to a small table in her office and sat next to her. The professor described how much she liked Brené’s work, but she did not follow all of the APA rules, hence the lower grade. The professor then told her she would help.
It made me wonder this: what if we took the same approach when we need to discuss performance issues with our employees? What if we demonstrated we were on their side and offered to help? What if, as Stephen Covey advised, we seek to understand the other person before we tell our side of the story? I invite you to practice this and post your experience.