To close out discussion on the Communication Sin of Lack of Directness & Candor I want to comment about team leaders who choose to call team meetings to address issues that should be dealt with direct to individual team members in private meetings.
In my seminars and workshops on The 7 Deadliest Sins of Leadership & Workplace Communication I always ask participants, when we get to this sin, if they’ve ever experienced a team leader, boss or even a senior executive call “everyone” into a group meeting to discuss performance and behavior issues everyone in the group knows is a result of a very small number of team members
As soon as I ask the question, heads nod and groans can be heard.
All too often individual behavior and performance issues are addressed in group meetings. The leader brings a generic paint brush to the meeting reminding everyone of the goals and need for improved performance, or to ask for changes in behavior that have been violating policy and procedures.
Everyone in the room knows the real culprits and begin to resent them even more for their lack of performance or poor attitudes.
Everyone in the room knows these issues should be addressed directly to individual perpetrators and they begin to lose trust in the team leader, and trust on the team erodes.
Worst of all, in situations addressed in this manner, the perpetrators don’t recognize themselves as the cause of the problem, so their behavior never changes when issues are communicated in this generic way.
Poor performance and behavior perpetuates.
In these situations, leaders must develop courage to step up to address issues directly with individual perpetrators if there is any hope to improve the desired performance and behaviors.
Please share your experience with these type of situations below.