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You won’t realise the benefits of delivering face-to-face feedback until you try it

Providing open, honest constructive feedback to members of your team is difficult.

So is your default to provide feedback via email?

As I have discussed in the past, feedback in writing is perilous; as the writer, you must be cognisant of the fact that your recipients are in total control of how they perceive your message.

So, I have a rule: Never send an angry email. In fact, if I ever believe my message has the slightest possibility of being misconstrued, I will deliver it face to face, via Zoom/Teams or a phone call.

Trust me, the outcome will be better for you and your staff. If you take your team member out for a coffee or a quick chat in a quiet room, adopt a coaching style approach to your feedback, and deliver it in a calm and receptive manner, the feedback will be taken positively and you will earn the respect of your team. Hide behind your screen and deliver your feedback via email will do the opposite; you will lose respect, you will lose trust and the relationship will deteriorate. An open, trust-based environment is what you want to create.

Of course, you may need a record of the conversation for ‘the file’, so if that is the case, your email could read something like:

‘Dear {Name}, further to our conversation earlier, I’d like to summarise our discussion and what we agreed.

It takes strong leadership and courage to have difficult conversations, however, the benefits of open and honest face-to-face conversations with your team, in the long run, will be exponential in many areas of your firm: morale, productivity and employee attrition to name a few. The flip side is an environment you can so easily avoid.

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