Dear Yogesh,

There’s a question that has been making rounds in my mind for long. I handle an Employee Union group here in Gurgaon. The head of the group devotes his time and energy professionally and personally. However, at times, this leader also crops up issues for himself. So, the problem here is how to tell him how he handles details and interacts with members aggravates members to a level where they stop participating. At this point, I am worried about how to provide feedback that will elevate this person’s performance without offending him.


Personality is The Problem

Dear Personality,

You have arrived at the right place! I want you to deliver good feedback that will help to enhance your volunteer’s performance.

To begin with, let us first make a difference between Personality & behavior. Ideally, Personality is who you are, and behavior is what you do and commit.

As per a renowned psychologist, the behavior is not set by our Personality but is flexible and gets motivated by situations. For example, I am logical and inclined to use the information at length before concluding. But if a person is pressurizing me or my deadline is approaching, I will make rapid decisions. My behavior now can be altered.

For a situation like yours, do you know what behaviors or Crucial Conversations Training are important for an effective leader? Here, you need to recognize some of the significant behaviors the volunteer needs to outshine his role. The more he prospers, the more he ponders upon his strengths- the extent to which his behaviors harmonize with the behavioral demands of the work and position.

Useful Tip: When shaping these vital behaviors, ensure they are real actions, not character behaviors or results. For instance, sending an agenda, including what verdicts need to be made at the meeting and any supportive material, 48 hours before every meeting” – is a behavior. “Be more strategic” is not.

Give some time to these behaviors and leave some space for his ideas. You may be astounded by the insights from his point of view- especially when you frame a secure space for candor.

Join through the shared mission of your group. Focus on what you want long-term for yourself, him, your relationship, and your group. Share a healthy aim so he understands that the purpose is not to focus on the disadvantages but for him and your group to remain positive.

You should use facts without judgment to help him recognize behaviors that need to be swapped. For instance, instead of directly expressing that “you are too complex to work with,” just share the behavior you notice: “I sensed at the last two meetings there was no issue. Both meetings finished with three decisions untouched.”

Just because an individual has some personality traits does not mean they comprehend how those touch other persons. Think about sharing facts that show the unseen results of their frequent actions. For example: “I’m not certain if you are aware, but after you voiced your thoughts at the meeting, no one else spoke.” Or “after you finished, two individuals were in tears.”

In summary, find out two to three behaviors that would help him outshine in his role; get clarity on the shared intentions and use that as an entry point for conversation, and share facts about the observations of his behavior to securely identify the behavior (and most importantly not Personality!) that will help him transform.

Good luck,

Yogesh Sood

The above is an adaptation of a blog written by CANDACE BERTOTTI, CRUCIAL LEARNING.