Woman explaining something to a colleague in an assertive manner

Many people have a problem with being assertive and leave robust conversations too long. Here’s 3 simple steps to becoming assertive with an underperforming team member

1. State the situation

Here you want to deal with FACT. Always stick to the facts, such as you committed to conducting 5 client scoping calls per month and you’re only managing 3

2. Tell them the way it makes you feel

Here you can deal with feelings, be honest and tell them how it makes you feel that they are not following a procedure, updating the CRM or following up the way they agreed. Share how it really makes you feel

3. Tell them the consequence

This is the vital part that is often missing. There should always be a consequence for a poor performance. Now the consequence does not need to be ‘you’re going to be fired’ But there should be a consequence. Are you going to formalise things? Are they going to go on a performance review? Are they going to have to report more frequently? Are they going to have to complete some training?

In short if someone is underperforming in your team state the situation, tell them the way it makes you feel and then tell them the consequence. You can do this respectfully, with a smile in a different location to where the person normally works and you’ll find they appreciate their performance being addressed.

Posted by Pete Wilkinson

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