Can you coach, and still deliver criticism?

We all know that the purpose of coaching is to reinforce the behaviours that makes our teams successful. This means that we praise and reward the good stuff, and identify the not-so-good-stuff, and work towards how we would like to see that improved upon.

What about when the not-so-good-stuff really is pretty bad? And no matter how we dress it up, it's still likely to come across as pretty critical?

It's OK to offer criticism, and indeed, to be critical. If we're in a position of leadership, it is indeed our duty to monitor our team members' behaviour and performance. When the behaviour or performance of a team member just isn't cutting it, and is undermining the ability of the team to perform, we have to act. Quite simply, it is our job to act. That's why we've been given leadership responsibility.

It seems to me that we already know all of this. If that's the case, why do we then seem to avoid these more difficult conversations? Maybe it as simple as we just aren't sure of, or even confident of, how to hold this sort of conversation.

In this article, Deborah Bright offer four useful techniques around how to deliver criticism successfully - and that means in a way that treats the person fairly, as well as gets the behaviour and performance that is desired.

How to Deliver Criticism So Employees Pay Attention