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Criticize, but keep the personal touch

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Honeywell CEO Larry Bossidy has reprimanded his fair share of executives. But whenever he had to do that, he followed up by writing two letters to the executive who had taken the heat:
  1. He wrote a formal letter summarizing the steps they had agreed to undertake to correct problems.

  2. He sent a personal note that said something like, “Good job yesterday. We know that productivity is not up to snuff and you need to work on that. But otherwise, things are going fine.”
“If a manager is having trouble,” Bossidy writes, “you don’t want to threaten to fire him; you want to help him with his problem. The personal connection makes that easier, too.”

—Adapted from Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, Crown.

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