So many of my clients resist having correction conversations with their team members. And, yes, that’s what I like to call them. Whether you engage in the communication with the aid of a discipline form, a performance improvement plan or have them without documenting anything at all, ultimately, your goal is to correct someone’s behavior, attitude, work output or work quality.

So, if all you’re trying to accomplish is some correction, why do you avoid these conversations at all cost? The excuses I’ve heard run the gamut. Are any of these familiar?

    • I feel bad. Everyone is so busy.
    • They should just know what to do.
    • They might quit.
    • They get really defensive when I try to talk to them about anything.
    • It’s just easier to do it myself.
    • I don’t like to be mean.

Meanwhile, having these conversations is vital to the success of the organization and also, I’ve found, to the mental well being of the leader. Do you really want to spend your work hours feeling resentful, burned out and overwhelmed?

Humans haven’t mastered the art of mind reading yet so if you want someone to conduct him or herself differently you are going to have to let them know, verbally and succinctly. And, sometimes, you may need to utilize negative consequences to really drive the point home.

I have found that creating the right mindset will set the tone for a great meeting. Instead of focusing on anything from the list above, use the simple list below. You don’t have to say these things out loud. Just be thinking them and let the new mindset guide how you engage in the conversation. It will change the way you approach the conversation in a miraculous way.

    • I Want You to Be Successful
    • I Will Define What Success Is
    • I Will Communicate that Definition to You
    • You Will Have a Choice
    • I Hope You Choose Well

Like everything else in life, the more you do them, the easier they become. And, in the case of correction conversations, hopefully, the more you do them the less you’ll need to do!

Also see the related article “Tackle the 4 D’s of Discipline Avoidance”

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