How to address a sensitive but/and/or self-aware team member

I pulled this quadrant from a Youtube video called “How Worship Leaders can THINK like a Pro Music Director”. While the video may not capture everyone’s interest here, these principles, in my opinion, definitely apply in our teams in the workplace.

A good communication principle says it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Regardless of the message’s quality, its impact is largely dependent on your delivery — if the message is going to be understood, be taken to heart and be acted on.

So, how do you address a team member who’s both sensitive and self-aware? Simply address the group as a whole; a self-aware team member will understand the message implicitly. “Hey team, we need to submit our reports on time.” Your self-aware team member will figure it out without touching his being sensitive.

How about a team member who’s sensitive and not self-aware? We have at least one of those in our teams, don’t we? (If you don’t know one, you’re probably it. 😀 ) Address him privately. Engaging in a private conversation is often the most productive way to discuss sensitive matters.

But how about for team members who are not sensitive and either self-aware or not? You can correct in public. Such an individual is likely to appreciate the direct feedback. In a team meeting, you might say, ‘Brian, the quality of your report was excellent. Next time, aiming for an earlier submission would be fantastic, though your work is certainly impressive as is.’ (Notice that I also use the Kiss-Kick-Kiss approach to correcting a person)

This is a really good diagram that would guide managers in approaching a team member with correction without disregarding his personality.

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