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Ask For Solutions When Giving Course Corrections

Most leaders have exceptional problem solving skills - that's generally what got them to their leadership position; however, when providing course correction feedback to direct reports, skip the problem solving and ask the direct report to come up with a solution.

Course correction feedback should focus on the direct report's behavior AND their responsibility to change it. The leader's job is point out the correction, offer encouragement, and solicit a behavior change. The natural tendency will be for the leader to offer solutions - don't do it. Let the direct report provide the solution; there will be a greater chance getting the wanted behavior change.

Some examples:

"Tim, we really appreciate you attending the management meetings, but when you raise your voice and sneer at Joe, the team respects you less. What can you do next time?" "Sue, I like all your hard work, but when you show up late for work, we all think you don't care about the team. What can you do to be at work on time each day?" "Joe, great sales call yesterday, but when you order a martini for lunch, our clients might question our professionalism. How might you handle the next client lunch?"

Leaders who empower their direct reports to offer course correction solutions will experience future successes.


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