When managers convey areas of weakness, employees often became defensive. Defensiveness not only creates awkwardness in the workplace, it also keeps employees from fully absorbing the lessons. Managers need to be able to share useful information in a way that doesn’t cause employees to get defensive.
Giving constructive feedback is one of the most important aspects of any manager’s job, but it’s also one of the hardest tasks to accomplish well. No one wants to hear about the areas where they’re weak and highlighting those areas can easily put the other person on the defensive.
You’ve just been hired or promoted to lead a team you quickly realize has some major problems. What should you do?
First figure out what brand of dysfunction your team has adopted. Organizational psychologist and consultant Liane Davey identifies five in her book, You First: Inspire Your Team to Grow Up, Get Along, and Get Stuff Done.