Start In The First Person When Delivering Course Corrections

Many of us still feel uncomfortable when giving course corrections. The last thing we want to do is de-motivate an direct report, or hurt the feelings of an direct report when something “is just not that big a deal” but should still be addressed.  The fact is: if we didn’t care about the direct report’s success or believe they made valuable contributions to the organization, we wouldn’t bother giving them feedback.

When giving feedback, starting in the first person prevents the direct report from being thrown on the defensive right from the first phrase.  If you begin in the second person, it can sound harsh and put the direct report in a defensive posture.

After starting in the first person, the direct report should get the distinct impression you have every confidence they have the ability to correct their course, be successful, and fix a situation on their own which creates an empowered, non-defensive response.

Remember, if it’s a direct report you believe is a successful contributor to your organization, empower them to correct their course by starting your message in the first person.

Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership

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