Among the many challenges that our Covid world has presented to managers, is the ability to balance being an empathetic leader with having a conversation about performance, when needed.
Team members continue to deal with their own challenges, from caring responsibilities to health concerns and it may feel difficult to discuss performance or give tricky feedback, while the impact of the pandemic continues.
While this may feel like a difficult balance to achieve, it is vital that we find a way. Often, we put up our own barriers in the way we think about our management role, but to shy away from conversations about performance is unfair to the team member and will only store up problems in the long run.
Here are some tips to help:
• Reframe your thinking. Managers have a right to manage. It is part of the responsibility of the role.
• Balance rights with responsibilities. If we hold onto the fact that with every right comes a responsibility, it helps to find the right balance. For example, we have a right to give feedback to our team members, but the responsibility that goes hand in hand with this, is to have that conversation in a constructive way.
• Reset expectations around regular feedback conversations. The deep-seated changes in the way we all work and interact present a real opportunity to have conversations that “reset” expectations with team members. What do they need from you? What do you need from them?
• Use the right methods of communication. We are all using written channels far more than before, but email, WhatsApp, Slack – none of these are the right method for holding a feedback discussion with someone. Talk to them. Listen.
• Be open and honest. Things are changing all the time. We will not have all the answers for everyone, but we can listen and provide regular opportunities to understand what people are dealing with, what support they might need, and how to help them perform to the best of their ability.
Stella’s webinar for The Institute of Leadership and Management explores this topic in more detail. To hear her practical tips listen here.
To access our series of webinars on managing during the pandemic, have a look at our Resources pages.
Please contact us to discuss how we can support you and your people to ensure interaction continues to be respectful, inclusive and productive, while we all navigate this new world.
Call us on 01903 732782, email or contact us.
The way we behave towards each other in the workplace has a direct impact on individual wellbeing, team performance and organisational results. This belief has underpinned our work at Focal Point for over 20 years and has never been more relevant. We are privileged to work with a huge variety of organisations wanting to get workplace behaviour and culture right - and to tackle the inappropriate behaviour that may get in the way of this. Supported by our fantastic team of facilitators and coaches, we are able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives as well as organisational performance. Having worked in both large businesses at management level and in 2 start ups at director level, I am able to combine hands on experience of growing and managing teams - and the associated challenges in creating the right culture - with over 20 years in learning and development. I hold the Certificate in Training Practice and am a member of CIPD. When I am not supporting clients or developing the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...