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When you have to reprimand

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

We try to be positive and motivating, but sometimes we have to reprimand people when they screw up. Here's how to do it:

Don't smile. The moment you smile, even though you're trying to put the employee at ease, you have reduced your effectiveness. Smiling indicates approval, and you are talking about performance that does not enjoy your approval.

Don't "gunny-sack." Gunny-sacking is when you save up all your complaints and problems until the bag is full and then dump the contents on the employee. Reprimand as soon as possible for each problem, one at a time.

Be specific. Tell the employee what he did wrong—what you observed and how that differs from what you expect. Give him a chance to clarify the issue, but don't accept excuses.

Tell him how you feel. Don't pretend you're not angry or surprised or disappointed when you obviously are. But don't, of course, let your feelings become more important than the actual facts at hand.

Put the reprimand in perspective. You're reprimanding the employee for a specific action in a specific situation, not for being a bad worker in general. It's because you value his work and talents that you're investing the energy in trying to correct his performance.

Don't repeat the reprimand. Once it's done, it's done. Go back to work.

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