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Frustrated with your team? Take the ‘sweet’, not ‘sour’ approach!

For whatever reason or cause, all managers will have all been in a situation when they have become frustrated by their team.  You may have ended up feeling so irritated that you have decided you should take the ‘tough talk’ approach and bombard your employees with a hard speech; detailing just how frustrated and dissatisfied you are.  STOP!

This route will just end up demoralising and belittling your team.  Consider this; what communication do you prefer and respond to best; someone being sour, pressurising and scolding you, or a softer, ‘sweeter’, more encouraging method?  Positive communication will work more effectively than a negative shouting and ‘high and mighty’ approach.  Alison Davis for Inc mentions the relevance of the old saying; ‘you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.’ 

You do not need to sugar-coat and tiptoe around the issue – this can be just as ineffective as a harassing approach.  Instead, focus on your role as being the ‘encourager’, rather than the ‘blamer’Alison Davis mentions that in order to do this, you need to remember three elements when communicating about the issue which has been a cause of frustration…

  1. Be agreeable and pleasurable – use a warm tone in your voice; even if your message contains some negative points, you need to show respect to your team. When required to communicate something negative, make sure you include positives too so your employee does not feel demoralised or think ‘everything they do is wrong’.
  2. Clear and concise – make sure the message is clear to understand so there will be no misunderstandings. You are busy, your team members are busy – so you need to make sure they understand efficiently what is being said or what needs to be done to avoid revisiting the issue.
  3. Tomorrow is a brand new day – if your message or the discussion does get a bit heated, remember that a fresh start and fresh approach tomorrow can work wonders.

Add a sprinkle of ‘sugar’, rather than ‘salt’ to your communication to make sure it is received in the best way by your team. Speaking to them on a personal level will ensure you do not damage the relationship or negatively impact their morale or confidence.  This approach will not only be more effective for them, but also for you, with ensuring a continued high quality of work.  After all, you want your team members to respect you and want to impress you, not be scared of you!

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