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Powerful Negotiation Techniques for Addressing Underperformance in Teams

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Dealing with underperformance in your team can be tough and uncomfortable, but itโ€™s also a crucial part of leadership. I remember wanting meetings like that to go fast or ignored needing to have them. Pushing through the awkwardness and embracing the challenge is healthy for both parties and promotes a better internal culture.

Understanding that these conversations, when handled right, can lead to significant growth and improvement.

Here are some powerful techniques to help you navigate these tricky waters with empathy and effectiveness:

Jump to sections below, or read in full… You do you.

Tactical Empathy in Addressing Underperformance

Empathy is the cornerstone of effective negotiation, particularly when tackling underperformance. By understanding and addressing the emotional and situational factors affecting an employee, you create a foundation for positive change. Hereโ€™s how you can apply tactical empathy with concrete language and actionable ideas:

Example Language for Tactical Empathy

โ“ – Open-Ended Questions:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œCan you help me understand whatโ€™s been going on for you lately?โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œWhat challenges have you been facing that might be affecting your performance?โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œHow do you feel about the current workload and responsibilities?โ€

๐Ÿ‘‚ – Reflective Listening:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œIt sounds like youโ€™re feeling overwhelmed with the new project requirements.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œI hear that youโ€™re finding it difficult to balance multiple deadlines. Is that correct?โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œSo, youโ€™re saying that the recent changes in the team dynamics have impacted your focus?โ€

๐Ÿค— – Validating Feelings:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œI understand that this situation is frustrating for you.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œItโ€™s completely normal to feel stressed under these circumstances.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œI can see why you would feel that way given the recent changes.โ€

Actionable Ideas for Tactical Empathy

๐Ÿ˜Œ – Private and Comfortable Setting:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Arrange the conversation in a private, comfortable setting to encourage openness and honesty. This shows respect for the employeeโ€™s privacy and makes them feel more at ease.

๐Ÿ‘‚ – Active Listening Techniques:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Use nodding, maintaining eye contact, and brief verbal acknowledgments (like โ€œI seeโ€ or โ€œGo onโ€) to show that you are engaged and attentive.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Paraphrase what the employee says to confirm your understanding, such as, โ€œSo what Iโ€™m hearing isโ€ฆโ€

๐Ÿ™‚โ€โ†•๏ธ- Acknowledge and Relate:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Share your own experiences if relevant, to show that you understand their feelings. For example, โ€œIโ€™ve also struggled with managing deadlines in the past, and I found that breaking tasks into smaller steps helped me.โ€

๐Ÿค—- Empathise with Situational Factors:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Recognise external factors that might be impacting performance. For example, โ€œI know that the transition to remote work has been challenging for many. How has this affected you?โ€

๐Ÿ™Œ – Supportive Problem-Solving:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Collaboratively identify solutions to the issues raised. For instance, โ€œWhat do you think would help you manage your workload better?โ€ or โ€œHow can we adjust your current tasks to make them more manageable?โ€

๐Ÿ“– – Provide Resources:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Offer resources that might help, such as additional training, mentoring, or flexible working arrangements. For example, โ€œWould attending a time management workshop be beneficial for you?โ€ or โ€œWould a mentor help you navigate these challenges?โ€

Incorporating tactical empathy into your conversations with underperforming employees, you not only address the root causes of the issues but also build stronger, more trusting relationships. This paves the way for improved performance and a more positive work environment.

Clear and Concise Communication in Addressing Underperformance

Clarity and conciseness are essential when discussing performance issues with employees. Being clear and specific helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures the employee knows exactly what needs improvement. Hereโ€™s how to ensure your communication is both clear and concise, with examples of what to do and what to avoid.

Example of Clear and Concise Communication

๐Ÿ–Š๏ธ – Be Specific About the Issue:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Clear and Concise: โ€œIn the last month, you missed the deadlines for the marketing report on June 5th and the client presentation on June 12th.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Unclear: โ€œYouโ€™ve been missing a lot of deadlines lately.โ€

๐Ÿ’ฌ- Explain the Impact:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Clear and Concise: โ€œMissing these deadlines caused delays in our marketing campaign and affected our client relationship, leading to a loss of trust.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Unclear: โ€œMissing deadlines is bad for our business.โ€

โ€ผ – Provide Specific Examples:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Clear and Concise: โ€œDuring the client meeting on June 15th, you were unprepared, which led to an incomplete presentation of our project status.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Unclear: โ€œYou havenโ€™t been performing well in meetings.โ€

โœ… – Set Clear Expectations:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Clear and Concise: โ€œI expect you to submit the marketing report by the end of the day every Monday and to be fully prepared for all client meetings with the necessary documents.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Unclear: โ€œI need you to be better prepared and on time.โ€

๐Ÿชœ – Offer Clear Next Steps:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Clear and Concise: โ€œLetโ€™s meet every Friday to review your progress and address any challenges you might be facing. This will help ensure you meet your deadlines.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Unclear: โ€œWe should talk more often about your work.โ€

Detailed Examples of Clear and Unclear Communication

๐ŸŒซ๏ธ – Unclear Communication:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œYouโ€™ve been underperforming recently, and itโ€™s becoming a problem.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œYour attitude is not what it should be, and itโ€™s affecting your work.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œI need you to step up and take more responsibility.โ€

โ˜€๏ธ – Clear and Concise Communication:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œIโ€™ve noticed that your sales numbers have dropped by 20% over the past three months, and this is below the target we set.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œDuring the team meetings, Iโ€™ve observed that you often interrupt others and dismiss their ideas, which disrupts the flow of discussion and affects team morale.โ€

๐Ÿ‘‰ – โ€œI need you to take the lead on the new client project by organising the kickoff meeting, delegating tasks, and ensuring we meet all the deadlines.โ€

Tips for Achieving Clear and Concise Communication

๐Ÿ“Š – Use Specific Data and Examples:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Provide concrete data and examples to illustrate your points. This helps the employee understand exactly what behaviours need to change.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œAccording to our records, your productivity has decreased by 15% over the past quarter, as shown by the lower number of completed tasks.โ€

๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซ – Avoid Generalisations:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Steer clear of vague statements that can be interpreted in multiple ways. Be precise about what you mean.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: Instead of saying, โ€œYou need to be more proactive,โ€ say, โ€œI need you to start proposing solutions during our team meetings rather than waiting for others to suggest ideas.โ€

๐Ÿงฎ – Break Down Complex Issues:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – If the issue is complex, break it down into smaller, manageable parts. This makes it easier for the employee to understand and address each component.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œYour customer service ratings have declined. Specifically, Iโ€™ve noticed lower scores in โ€˜response timeโ€™ and โ€˜issue resolution.โ€™ Letโ€™s focus on improving these two areas.โ€

๐Ÿค – Ensure Mutual Understanding:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Ask the employee to paraphrase what youโ€™ve discussed to confirm they understand your feedback. This avoids miscommunication.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œCan you summarise what weโ€™ve discussed and the key areas you need to focus on improving?โ€

โœ… – Provide Actionable Feedback:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Offer clear, actionable steps the employee can take to improve. Avoid leaving the employee uncertain about what to do next.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œTo improve your presentation skills, I recommend attending the upcoming workshop on effective communication and practicing your presentations with a peer before the meetings.โ€

If you adopt these practices, you ensure that your communication is clear and concise, making it easier for employees to understand and act upon your feedback. This approach not only addresses performance issues more effectively but also fosters a culture of transparency and accountability.

Setting Expectations for Addressing Underperformance

Setting clear, attainable expectations is crucial for managing underperformance. It provides employees with a defined path to improvement and helps measure their progress. Hereโ€™s how to set expectations effectively, with detailed steps and examples.

Steps to Setting Clear Expectations

๐Ÿ–Š๏ธ – Define Specific Goals:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Identify specific, measurable goals that the employee needs to achieve. These should be aligned with their role and the companyโ€™s objectives.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œIncrease your sales figures by 15% over the next quarter by focusing on upselling and cross-selling to existing clients.โ€

๐Ÿ’ฌ – Communicate the Expectations Clearly:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Use straightforward language to ensure the employee understands what is expected. Avoid jargon or ambiguous terms.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œI expect you to arrive at work by 9 AM each day and complete your daily reports by 5 PM.โ€

๐ŸŽฏ – Set Realistic and Achievable Targets:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Ensure the goals are attainable within the given timeframe and resources. Overly ambitious targets can demotivate employees.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œSubmit a draft of the marketing plan by the end of the month, incorporating feedback from the team.โ€

๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธ – Establish a Timeline:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Provide a clear timeline for achieving the goals. This helps create urgency and ensures the employee knows the deadlines.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œComplete the customer feedback analysis and present your findings at the team meeting in two weeks.โ€

โŒ – Explain the Consequences:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Clearly outline the potential consequences of failing to meet the expectations. This ensures the employee understands the importance of the goals.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œIf the sales targets are not met, we will need to re-evaluate your role and consider further training or support.โ€

๐Ÿค— – Provide Support and Resources:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Offer the necessary support and resources to help the employee achieve their goals. This might include training, tools, or mentoring.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œYou will have access to the latest CRM software and can schedule one-on-one sessions with our sales coach.โ€

๐Ÿ‘€ – Regularly Review Progress:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Schedule regular check-ins to review the employeeโ€™s progress towards the goals. This allows for adjustments and continuous support.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œWe will meet every Monday morning to discuss your progress and address any challenges you may be facing.โ€

Detailed Examples of Setting Expectations

Unclear Expectations:

โŒ – โ€œDo better in your customer service interactions.โ€

โŒ – โ€œIncrease your sales numbers.โ€

โŒ – โ€œBe more punctual.โ€

Clear Expectations:

โœ… – โ€œAchieve a customer satisfaction rating of at least 90% by improving your response times and following up with customers within 24 hours.โ€

โœ… – โ€œIncrease your monthly sales by 10% by contacting at least 20 new potential clients each week and scheduling follow-up meetings with interested parties.โ€

โœ… – โ€œArrive at the office by 9 AM each day and ensure all your daily tasks are completed before you leave.โ€

Practical Steps and Examples

1. Define Specific Goals:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Practical Step: Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with the employeeโ€™s role.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œReduce the number of customer complaints by 20% over the next three months by implementing a new customer service protocol.โ€

2. Communicate Clearly:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Practical Step: Use clear and precise language when setting expectations.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œI need you to submit the weekly financial report by 4 PM every Friday, ensuring all figures are double-checked for accuracy.โ€

3. Set Realistic Targets:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Practical Step: Assess the feasibility of the goals with the employee to ensure they are achievable.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œComplete the first draft of the project proposal by the end of the month, incorporating all team feedback.โ€

4. Establish a Timeline:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Practical Step: Break down the goals into smaller tasks with specific deadlines.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œBy the end of the first week, gather all necessary data. By the second week, draft the initial report. By the third week, review and revise the report based on feedback.โ€

5. Explain the Consequences:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Practical Step: Clearly articulate what will happen if the expectations are not met.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œIf the project milestones are not met, we may need to reassign the project to ensure deadlines are met.โ€

6. Provide Support:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Practical Step: Identify and offer resources that can assist the employee in meeting the expectations.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œYou will have access to our new project management tool, and I will schedule weekly check-ins to provide any additional support you need.โ€

7. Regularly Review Progress:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Practical Step: Schedule and stick to regular review meetings to discuss progress and provide feedback.

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Example: โ€œLetโ€™s meet every Thursday afternoon to review your progress on the marketing campaign and address any issues you might be facing.โ€

This approach fosters accountability and provides a structured path for improving performance.

Active Listening in Addressing Underperformance

Active listening is a critical skill for understanding the root causes of underperformance and for building a supportive environment where employees feel heard and valued. Hereโ€™s a comprehensive guide on how to practice active listening effectively.

Steps to Practice Active Listening

1. Prepare for the Conversation:

๐Ÿ‘‰- Choose a quiet, private space free from distractions to ensure the employee feels comfortable and focused.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Allocate sufficient time for the conversation so neither party feels rushed.

2. Show Genuine Interest:

๐Ÿ‘‰- Begin with open-ended questions to invite the employee to share their thoughts and feelings.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œCan you tell me more about your recent experiences at work?โ€

3. Use Verbal and Non-Verbal Cues:

๐Ÿ‘‰- Maintain eye contact and nod to show you are engaged.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Use verbal affirmations like โ€œI see,โ€ โ€œGo on,โ€ and โ€œI understandโ€ to encourage the employee to continue speaking.

4. Paraphrase and Reflect:

๐Ÿ‘‰- Paraphrase what the employee says to show understanding and to confirm their message.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œIt sounds like youโ€™re feeling overwhelmed with the new project deadlines. Is that right?โ€

5. Avoid Interrupting:

๐Ÿ‘‰- Allow the employee to express themselves fully without interruption. Take notes if necessary to remember key points you want to address later.

6. Ask Clarifying Questions:

๐Ÿ‘‰- If something is unclear, ask follow-up questions to gain a deeper understanding.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œCan you explain more about the specific challenges youโ€™re facing with the new software?โ€

7. Empathise and Validate Feelings:

๐Ÿ‘‰- Acknowledge the employeeโ€™s emotions and show empathy.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œI understand that this has been a stressful time for you. Itโ€™s normal to feel frustrated when facing these challenges.โ€

8. Summarise and Agree on Next Steps:

๐Ÿ‘‰- Summarise the key points of the conversation to ensure mutual understanding.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œSo, weโ€™ve identified that the main issues are the new project deadlines and the unfamiliar software. Letโ€™s discuss some steps we can take to address these.โ€

Detailed Examples of Active Listening

Unclear Listening:

๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ – Employee: โ€œIโ€™ve been struggling to keep up with the workload.โ€

๐Ÿ’โ€โ™‚๏ธ – Manager: โ€œYou just need to manage your time better.โ€

Active Listening:

๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ – Employee: โ€œIโ€™ve been struggling to keep up with the workload.โ€

๐Ÿ’โ€โ™‚๏ธ – Manager: โ€œI hear that youโ€™re finding it difficult to manage the current workload. Can you tell me more about which tasks are taking up most of your time?โ€

Unclear Listening:

๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ – Employee: โ€œThe new software is confusing, and Iโ€™m not sure how to use it effectively.โ€

๐Ÿ’โ€โ™‚๏ธ – Manager: โ€œEveryone else seems to be managing fine with it.โ€

Active Listening:

๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ – Employee: โ€œThe new software is confusing, and Iโ€™m not sure how to use it effectively.โ€

๐Ÿ’โ€โ™‚๏ธ – Manager: โ€œIt sounds like the new software is a significant challenge for you. What specific aspects are causing the most difficulty?โ€

Practical Steps and Examples

1. Prepare for the Conversation:

๐Ÿšถ- Practical Step: Choose a quiet meeting room and turn off your phone to avoid interruptions.

โ€ข๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œLetโ€™s schedule a time to meet in the conference room so we can have a focused discussion.โ€

2. Show Genuine Interest:

๐Ÿšถ- Practical Step: Start with an open-ended question.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œHow have you been finding your workload recently?โ€

3. Use Verbal and Non-Verbal Cues:

๐Ÿšถ- Practical Step: Maintain eye contact and use nods and smiles.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œI understand,โ€ while nodding.

4. Paraphrase and Reflect:

๐Ÿšถ- Practical Step: Repeat what the employee said in your own words to confirm understanding.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œYou mentioned that youโ€™re having trouble meeting the new deadlines because of the increased workload. Is that correct?โ€

5. Avoid Interrupting:

๐Ÿšถ- Practical Step: Listen without speaking until the employee has finished their point.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: Take notes on a notepad to address later, instead of interrupting.

6. Ask Clarifying Questions:

๐Ÿšถ- Practical Step: Ask for more details when needed.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œCan you give me an example of a task thatโ€™s been particularly challenging?โ€

7. Empathise and Validate Feelings:

๐Ÿšถ- Practical Step: Acknowledge the employeeโ€™s emotions and show understanding.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œI can see how that would be frustrating, especially with everything else youโ€™re managing.โ€

8. Summarise and Agree on Next Steps:

๐Ÿšถ- Practical Step: Recap the conversation and decide on actions.

๐Ÿ‘‰- Example: โ€œSo, weโ€™ll organise a training session on the new software and re-prioritise your tasks to better manage your workload. Does that sound good to you?โ€

Active listening not only helps in addressing performance issues but also strengthens the relationship between managers and employees, fostering a more collaborative and engaged work environment.

Positive Reinforcement in Addressing Underperformance

Balancing criticism with positive feedback is essential to maintain morale and motivate improvement. Positive reinforcement highlights what the employee is doing well, encouraging them to continue those behaviours.

Key Steps for Positive Reinforcement

๐Ÿ” – Identify Strengths:

โ€ข Recognise specific areas where the employee excels.

โ€ข Example: โ€œYour attention to detail in the monthly reports has been outstanding.โ€

๐Ÿ’  – Connect Strengths to Improvement Areas:

โ€ข Relate their strengths to the areas needing improvement.

โ€ข Example: โ€œGiven your strong analytical skills, I believe you can apply the same level of detail to your client interactions.โ€

๐Ÿ˜€ – Express Confidence:

โ€ข Show confidence in their ability to improve.

โ€ข Example: โ€œI know you have the capability to meet these new deadlines with the right support.โ€

๐ŸŽ‰ – Celebrate Small Wins:

โ€ข Acknowledge and celebrate small achievements along the way.

โ€ข Example: โ€œGreat job on meeting last weekโ€™s deadline. Letโ€™s keep that momentum going.โ€

Brief Examples

Unbalanced Feedback:

โŒ – Manager: โ€œYour performance needs to improve. Youโ€™re not meeting deadlines.โ€

Balanced with Positive Reinforcement:

โœ… – Manager: โ€œWhile we need to work on meeting deadlines, Iโ€™ve noticed your reports are always detailed and accurate. With some adjustments, Iโ€™m confident you can meet the deadlines without compromising on quality.โ€

By incorporating positive reinforcement, you create a supportive environment that encourages improvement and recognises effort, fostering a more positive and productive workplace.

Collaborative Problem-Solving in Addressing Underperformance

Engaging employees in finding solutions to their performance issues encourages ownership and commitment. Itโ€™s essential to approach this collaboratively without being awkward or appearing micromanaging. Hereโ€™s how:

Key Steps for Collaborative Problem-Solving

โœ… – Frame the Conversation Positively:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Start by acknowledging the issue but focus on working together to find solutions.

Example: โ€œIโ€™ve noticed some challenges with meeting deadlines. Letโ€™s figure out how we can tackle this together.โ€

โ‡ – Ask for Input:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Invite the employee to share their thoughts on potential solutions.

Example: โ€œWhat do you think could help you manage your workload more effectively?โ€

๐Ÿง  – Brainstorm Together:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Collaboratively generate ideas without immediate judgment.

Example: โ€œLetโ€™s brainstorm some ideas on how we can improve this process. No idea is too small or too big.โ€

๐Ÿค – Agree on Actionable Steps:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Decide on specific, achievable actions that both parties agree on.

Example: โ€œWe could set up weekly progress meetings and perhaps reassign some of your tasks. Does that sound reasonable?โ€

๐Ÿ‘ – Provide Autonomy:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Allow the employee to take the lead on implementing some solutions.

Example: โ€œHow about you outline a plan for how youโ€™d like to manage your tasks, and weโ€™ll review it together?โ€

๐Ÿ“† – Follow-Up Regularly:

๐Ÿ‘‰ – Check in periodically to review progress without hovering.

Example: โ€œIโ€™ll touch base with you next week to see how things are going and if thereโ€™s anything more we can do.โ€

Practical Examples

Avoiding Micromanagement:

๐Ÿ˜ก – Overbearing: โ€œI need you to report to me every day with what youโ€™ve done.โ€

๐Ÿ‘ – Collaborative: โ€œLetโ€™s schedule a weekly check-in to discuss your progress and any challenges youโ€™re facing.โ€

Inviting Participation:

๐Ÿ˜ก – Dismissive: โ€œYou need to improve your time management.โ€

๐Ÿ‘ – Inclusive: โ€œWhat strategies have worked for you in the past to stay on top of your tasks? How can we integrate those here?โ€

Framing the conversation positively, seeking input, brainstorming together, agreeing on actionable steps, providing autonomy, and following up regularly, you can engage in collaborative problem-solving without appearing awkward or micromanaging. This approach fosters a sense of ownership and partnership in addressing performance issues.

Final Thoughts

Addressing underperformance is a challenging but necessary part of effective management. By employing the right techniques, you can turn these conversations into opportunities for growth and improvement.

I believe that with the right approach, every challenge can be transformed into an opportunity for growth. This balanced strategy not only helps improve individual performance but also strengthens team dynamics and drives overall business success.

With these tools, you can de-risk the growth process and achieve impactful results more quickly, leading to more free time, more money, and less stress for everyone involved.

  • ๐Ÿ’ก Tactical Empathy: Understand and address the emotional and situational factors affecting performance through open-ended questions and reflective listening.
  • ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ Clear Communication: Be specific and concise about performance issues, their impacts, and set clear, actionable expectations to avoid misunderstandings.
  • ๐ŸŽฏ Set Expectations: Define realistic and measurable goals with clear timelines, ensuring mutual understanding and providing necessary support.
  • ๐Ÿ‘‚ Active Listening: Engage fully with the employee, use verbal and non-verbal cues, paraphrase their concerns, and agree on actionable steps together.
  • ๐ŸŽ‰ Positive Reinforcement: Balance criticism with praise, recognise strengths, celebrate small wins, and express confidence in their ability to improve.