Communicate with grace and win the hearts and minds of your team.

Words have power. How and when you use them with your team has great power.

Golden Rule PDX Gallery & Boutique
Image by honeykennedy via Flickr

You can sustain a healthy organizational culture by choosing the right words and the right times to convey specific messages or deflate the morale and respect team members have in you. So what are some strategies you should use in communicating with team members struggling to perform?

Make sure to keep things confidential and only shared between people who are in a “need to know” position. Maintain the trust and respect of the people you lead. Fail to do this and you have opened the door too much greater problems.

Do not talk about problems and issues publicly. Helping others save face is all about having the grace to treat people with dignity. Hold critical conversations within an enclosed and private environment.

If it is absolutely necessary to address an issue in front of others, try to simply redirect and plan on having the team member visit you at your office.

If you made the mistake of discussing something in public that should have been private, make sure to apologize to the individual and witnesses. Remember, you’re apologizing for the manner which you acted, not for redirecting the team member.

Be clear, specific and compassionate. Treat the person with dignity. There is no need to sugar coat things, but speak to people in a manner you would enjoy being treated.

If you have any doubts, follow the golden rule. If you have quality people working in your team, you’ll never regret treating them with respect, dignity and patience.

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