Whether in times of joy or distress, says leadership consultant Andy Janning, recognize the power of this formula when communicating with co-workers:
• Point out the behavior that either pleased or upset you;
• Explain the effect of that behavior; and
• Tell them how that behavior, and its fallout, made you feel.
If you want to praise an employee in a meaningful way, you must include those components, the energetic Janning, president/founder of NO NET Solutions, CUNA Technology/Operations, Sales, and Service Council Conference attendees Monday.
When people go above and beyond to serve members, for instance, don’t just tell them they’re “awesome.” Highlight the specifics of their deeds, and convey how they've made a difference for those members and added value to your credit union.
“Cheerleading isn’t complementing,” he says. “Deliver praise and reinforcement that has an impact.”
Conversely, if an employee hasn’t been performing up to snuff, or you need to clear the air with a colleague, the formula holds true, too.
“There is no such thing as a personality conflict," Janning says. "Behavior causes conflicts.”
Consider the case of a teller who comes in 15 minutes late three straight days.
“It’s easy to go to that person in Donald Trump mode, and say, ‘Get your butt in gear or you’re gone,’ ” Janning says. “Did you solve the problem? No, you’ve created 99 others. That person might become a poison pill.”
Instead, tell them you’ve noticed a pattern of tardiness. Explain that to cover for them, you’ve had to put together their drawer, which delays you from addressing your other responsibilities. Tell them you’re frustrated and concerned. And ask if there’s an issue that’s causing them to be late.
Confronting issues that way creates a pathway to joint resolution and builds trust.
“These statements are really good when behavior goes off the rails, to find out the other half of the story,” Janning says. “Because as good as you are, you don’t know all of it.”