How to approach sensitive subjects….24th July 2009
However smooth a business may run, once in a while there has to be someone who needs to be told something that may not really be what they would like to listen. To make life easier here are some suggestions that you can use while imparting feedback that is not really positive or is not really the type that an employee would like to hear.
It is easy to give good news to anyone but how would you handle telling someone uncomfortable facts like their socks smell, or they should not be talking of the medical condition they suffer from because it unsettles the other employees or just that someone wear inappropriate clothes to work?
It is not easy because they are no longer in school and cannot be bossed around. Now ever one has got a pride and is an adult. When you have to deal with saying such sensitive things to employees you need to keep in mind that it has to be put across in the right way. If it is not, the opposite person’s ego maybe hurt and they may forget to look at the real message within what you’ve said.
Think of various aspects before you just approach the employee and blurt out your issue. You need to think of the circumstances thus caused. If the employee fails to see reason or feels that his ego had been hurt on purpose, you might just have put a whole negative cycle in process. You wouldn’t want to deal with this kind of a problem.
The first step is to try and see if you can deal with the problem generically or you need to meet the person individually. Like for example if someone if wearing inappropriate clothes to work, you can always send out an email to everyone with all the dress code rules. However if the matter is still not solved after that, and the person still doesn’t get the message it’s definitely time for a personal chat.
When finally you go to speak with the employee, ensure that you start off on a positive note. You must say everything positive and the move to the negative aspects without beating around the bush. You must be precise and direct. Once done you can ask the employee whether you can expect change in their behaviour.
At the end of a feed back session you can even offer to help with the situation and you will immediately see the changes that you’ve been wanting to see in your employee.