by Matt Alderton | November 27, 2017
When you're the boss, it's your job to motivate employees and grow your business. Unfortunately, doing both at once isn't always easy -- especially when employees are underperforming. If that's the case, it's imperative to your bottom line that you correct the problem, and to staff morale that you do it in a way that lifts employees up instead of dragging them down.

To achieve the right balance, avoid negative statements like "should" and "should not," according to contributor Rhett Power, co-founder of Wild Creations. "No one wants to hear about what they 'should' have done in the past," he says. "Communicate alternative, future courses of action that lead to more desired results. A simple addition of the phrase 'moving forward' lets the person on the receiving end of your critical thoughts know there's a plan and the past isn't going to impede the future."

Likewise, avoid "you" in favor of "I." "Use 'I' when expressing an opinion or criticism directed at the individual, yet avoid using the word 'you' as the target of the criticism," Power continues. "For example, instead of saying 'you did not do X correctly,' say something like 'I think X is X.'"

The result will be not only a more productive worker, but also a happier one. 

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