I’d like to share some advice for my newer leaders when it comes to coaching employees who demonstrates some undesirable behaviors. Most new managers struggle with the thought having to give some tough feedback. Especially early on in the relationship-building process where you’re trying to build trust.
Your gut is telling you that you should say something, but the voice in your head is telling you something else, “you’re only going to make things worse by saying something that is going to offend or hurt their feelings.” You then start to rationalize this thought by telling yourself, “Maybe if I give it some time the issue will just work itself out, eventually.” The optimist in you takes over your decision making by letting you think that the behavior will resolve itself over time – at least that’s the hope.
Let me shed some light on this approach: hoping is not coaching. A continuous and consistent pattern of behavior will never change without proper guidance and coaching from managers. Keep in mind that so long as you truly have their best interest at heart you will take the time to coach and guide them. Once you see things in this way you will no longer view it as giving negative feedback. Instead, you’ll have a positive impact on someone’s career.