March 11, 2004
EstherDerby writes about managers avoiding confrontation. She makes a good point:
I suspect that underneath these reasons is a more personal reason: “I'm not sure I can handle what will happen.”

Feedback is hard, and most of us don't have useful models for how to give feedback to employees (or peers). And, in my experience, failing to give feedback carries a higher price than not giving feedback: it destroys trust and drags down morale.
The other thing I'd throw in is the importance of being inline with your heart and having genuine concern for the employee. Without that, then an honest confrontation won't be helpful, “I need you to stop being a jerk, Fred,” and a confrontation from the head (“I need you to work on your team synergy, Fred”) won't be sincere, and Fred, like most people, can spot an insincere statement a mile away.

(BTW, her comment about not getting good feedback in the world is mentioned in this APA paper -> IncompetentCompetence)

tags: BusinessWorld