How to deliver uncomfortable employee feedback

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A leadership expert guides us through three difficult conversations with employees.

Every business leader faces tough situations where they have to give uncomfortable feedback to employees. In those moments, it can be hard to know what to say and easy to screw it up, say Joseph Folkman, a leadership consultant and author of The Power of Feedback (Wiley, 2006).

Here’s a quick guide to three sticky situations and how to handle them effectively:

Scenario 1: An employee wants a promotion but isn’t ready.

With any employee looking to advance, position yourself as a coach trying to help them find success. “If you’re viewed as the gate keeping this person from being promoted, it won’t be a good discussion,” says Folkman.

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