Caring Precedes Confronting

Last week I keynoted at the Booster Juice National Franchisee Conference in Las Vegas, and I talked about how to fix chronic people problems.  Chronic people problems don’t go away on their own, and they don’t get better if you ignore them and hope for the best.  Like many physical illnesses, they only get worse.

Fixing these situations always involves intervention by the leader:  that means you!

However, there’s something we (most) often forget when confronting any bad behaviour, at home or at work.  Are you ready for it?  This principle will move your chances of seeing positive change from 20% to 80%.  Here it is:

Caring for people must always PRECEDE confronting people about bad behaviour

 We all have an ego-based reluctance to hear criticism of ourselves.  We’re unlikely to believe any criticism because it stings our ego.  But this reluctance turns into full-throated defiance when we believe that the person confronting us doesn’t care about us, or doesn’t like us.

“The only reason she gave me that ‘input’ is because she hates me!”  Lies we tell ourselves.  So we write off really valuable feedback because we believe the person is not ‘for’ us.

However, when we believe that the person confronting us really has our best interest in mind, and wants us to change because they care, we soften and are much more open to input.

You need to state this in words.  Explain that you want the person to win.  Tell them that you care about them, and you want to help them get past this roadblock so they can be their best selves.

Confronting without caring leads to rebellion.  Caring without confronting leads to chaos.

Who’s your under-performer?  A spouse?  A child? An employee?  Before you confront them about their behaviour, make sure they first know how much you care.

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

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