In the examples above, do you find yourself more likely to ignore this issue or to confront them directly? Think back to the most recent time someone on your team, a direct report, peer or even a boss, disappointed you. What did you do? If you are like most of us you were ticked off, vented to someone not directly involved and then went on with your day, hoping that it wouldn’t happen again.
In Crucial Conversations® there is a concept that states if you do not address an issue the first time it happens it may become a pattern, and, if you don’t address a pattern it will affect your relationship. Think about that for a moment. Go back again to the same example you thought of in the prior paragraph; the one about an individual who recently disappointed you. Have they ever disappointed you before? If yes, it’s a pattern. Do you think differently of them now? If you are in a position to delegate or assign tasks, do you assign them different tasks? Do you avoid them? If you answered yes to any of these it has already affected your relationship.
So what’s the solution? It’s simple to state but a lot harder to act on. When something happens, address it the first time it happens. Don’t wait for it to become a pattern or worse, for it to affect your relationship. Ask to talk them and start with the facts. For example, the fact may be that they had committed to complete the code by last Friday and it still isn’t complete. Share your story. Your story may be that you are concerned that they aren’t prioritizing this activity or that they have too much on their plate. Ask them to share their story. It may match your story or be completely different. Either way, you now have the basis to have a discussion and find a solution that works for both of you.
To learn more read Crucial Conversations® by Vital Smarts. I’m not connected to them in any way; I just like and learn from their materials:)