It’s as simple as a conversation…

Do you find yourself doing projects yourself because you don’t trust that others will do the job correctly? Team members and managers alike fall into this habit more than you think. What tends to follow are things like enormous workloads, anger at teammates, job dissatisfaction, low morale, and employee burn-out.

Common sense would tell us to confront the people on our team to fix the problem. Right? Well, in reality, many people will avoid this confrontation altogether. There all kinds of reasons why this crucial conversation never happens.

Let’s explore a few.

  • They should know their job. Everyone understands that people are put into positions with the understanding that they can perform all of the tasks assigned to them. The trouble is that people still have to be trained on expectations, processes, and results. Just because a person has worked for this company for a long time doesn’t mean that they will know what to do or how to do it meeting your expectations.
  • It’s just easier to do it myself.  With that logic, you will be doing your job and the job of everyone else you choose not to coach, teach, or provide feedback to. You’ll end up getting paid for one job while actually doing two or more! Would you want to know if what you were doing was wrong? After all, you spent time and energy completing the task, all the while thinking you were doing it right. Most people want to know if something needs to be corrected so they can do it correctly and be successful in the future.
  • I’m not their boss.  No, however, you are on the same team, and teammates show each other how to improve. If you were doing something incorrectly, would you rather this person came to help you or would you rather your supervisor came to you after this person “ratted” on you?

The bottom line is that most people don’t like to confront others when something needs correcting. Rather than confront the other person, why not have a conversation? Psychologically using the word “conversation” changes your attitude before you even begin speaking.

The Conversation goes something like this:

  • You: Did you know that the credit card report is due to me by the first of the month?
  • Peer: Yeah, but the machine that runs that report has been down for three months. I’ve had to do it manually and I can’t seem to get it done because of all the interruptions I get all day long.
  • You: Well, I didn’t know that. What have you done about getting the machine fixed?
  • Peer: I told our boss, but she hasn’t done anything about it. I figure it must not be that important.
  • You: Without the report numbers, I can’t get the P & L done on time. Let’s figure out how to get the machine fixed.  In the meantime, is there anything I can do to help?

The thing you need to remember is that you have to truly believe the other person isn’t trying to ruin your day! His intentions are good although his actions may not have sent you that message. Make sure you are not accusing the other person of intentionally doing something wrong.  Just figure out how to make it better.

Don’t confront. Take the time to simply have a conversation. Chances are you’ll feel better, and in the process, you can discover how to recognize problems, solve them as a team, and improve your relationships. Ultimately, this will help your team feel better too!

If you are a manager/supervisor and you’d like more information on this topic, click “Let’s Get Started” below to request information about our coaching class or click here for program information.

Need to improve your relationships at work? More on having difficult conversations can be watched here.

Don’t confront. Improve your relationships. Here are ways to have helpful conversations.