People are often uncomfortable getting criticism and it makes them feel bad. Sometimes we set them up and it makes it worse. We say, “Well, gee, Bob, you are doing a good job… but… this isn’t very good and that’s pretty bad too.” If you set them up that way, it makes the situation worse because even if Bob is doing a good job he is unlikely to hear that. My recommendation is when you tell people what they are doing right; make sure you tell them the good news after the bad news. Say something like this, “Bob, I really want you to work on your customer service skills, and I am telling you this because your technical skills are absolutely brilliant and you add so much value around here.” If you tell them the bad news first and then the good news after that, you’ll get by far better sign-up and changed behavior.
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