One of the keys to the U.S. Women’s World Cup soccer championship was coach Jill Ellis’ ability to communicate promptly, directly and candidly with her team members. (see this blog article)
Not enough small business owners communicate with employees in this manner, even though they know they should.
But, knowing and doing are two different things.
Three fears prevent small business leaders from communicating as they know they should:
- Fear of being unfair
- Fear of saying the wrong thing or the right thing in the wrong way
- Fear of the reaction
- Fear of Being Unfair
In a recent seminar three small business leaders admitted one of their concerns in directly addressing performance issues with employees is there own uncertainty with having originally communicated their expectations properly. Their fear was that without having set expectations at the beginning, giving constructive feedback to the employee would be unfair.
This creates a real conundrum they have to get over because in avoiding this conversation poor performance perpetuates.
- Fear of Saying the Wrong Thing or the Right Thing in the Wrong Way
Few small business leaders are confident and comfortable with the proper way to frame candid and frank conversations with team members so that it gets the desired result. Because of the uncertainty of how to best frame the conversation, they avoid them.
- Fear of the Reaction
Having candid conversations with employees can go one of three ways and leaders are uncertain about how to address at least two of these three.
The employee will either :
- Embrace the feedback and adjust their performance and behaviors
- Resist the feedback and get defensive, making excuses and blame external factors
- Seem to embrace the feedback, while acting passive-aggressive moving forward
These three fears prevent small business leaders from having the conversations they should be having with employees, and prevents them from communicating to motivate.
Next time, we’ll explore strategies to get everyone motivated to contribute to “teamwork.”
’til next time, to add to the conversation by leaving a comment below.