Face to Face Conversation Tips for Supervisors

Do... Avoid...
  • Express feedback in a constructive manner
  • Use specific objective statements, behaviors or metrics
  • Describe how actions/behaviors have a positive or negative impact
  • Share how these behaviors matter to you, the team and the organization
  • Provide timely feedback at an appropriate time and place
  • Being vague or too general in your feedback – “You’re doing great”
  • Using absolute expressions (utilizing words “always” and “never”)
  • Using offensive or discriminatory language
  • Being defensive
  • Providing corrective feedback in public
Ask Questions
  • Actively listen without interrupting
  • Demonstrate openness to questions
  • Communicate in a clear, professional and easy to understand manner
  • Inquire about your employee’s future professional goals
  • Gain clarity and validate your understanding
  • Interrupting
  • Using condescending, aggressive or closed body language
  • Jumping to conclusions or finishing someone’s sentences
  • Mentally thinking about how you will respond while the other is talking
  • Assuming that your understanding is the same as the other person’s
  • Acknowledge the employee’s contributions and positive efforts
  • Explain how the behavior affects the performance
  • Solicit input and gain agreement with goals, expectations and objectives
  • Engage in frequent dialogue
  • Be respectful in your word choice
  • Being the only one talking
  • Sending mixed messages
  • Dodging uncomfortable issues
  • Being the only one generating ideas
  • Waiting to have the conversation until you’re frustrated with performance
Explore Options
  • Encourage the employee to find solutions to sustain or improve performance
  • Identify resources to sustain or improve performance
  • Express your support for any agreed upon action plan
  • Create mutually agreed upon time lines
  • Be realistic
  • Coming up with the solution on your own
  • Using training classes as the only solution for growth and development
  • Utilizing the same solution for all employees
  • Seeing just one side of the issue
  • Being closed minded when exploring potential solutions