One of the key roles of a supervisor is to give feedback to members of their team on behaviors that are not professional or that reflect poor EQ. The purpose of that feedback is not to shame or be punitive but to help a staff member understand how they come across to others and be a mirror to them on blind spots that they are not aware of.
- A staff member gives a report for 15 minutes that should have taken three.
- A team member has a tendency to interrupt others in a meeting or talks to often and too long monopolizing the conversation.
- An individual becomes reactive or defensive when their idea is challenged.
- There is an attitude of arrogance or cynicism that comes through.
- A member disengages from the meeting when they get bored.
- For signs of good and bad EQ see this blog
All of these and many other behaviors have a negative impact on the others involved and it hurts the offender in terms of influence and relationship. It is easy to note these behaviors but ignore them because we don't want to have what we perceive to be a hard conversation. Yet if we don't provide feedback who will?
And the conversation need not be difficult. It can be as easy as, "Will, can I share with you some feedback on how you handled the discussion with Mary today? It felt like you became defensive with her and it had the effect of shutting her down. Were you aware of that?" And a conversation is started. Chances are that Will had no idea how he came across and how it impacted Mary.
When there are repeated offenses like this over time, other staff members often wonder why the team leader has not addressed the irritant in the meeting. And they have a right to be unhappy if the team leader does not address such issues. And it does not help the one doing the offending.
The best feedback is immediate - or as soon as it is possible to give it - in private. The events are fresh and people can remember the circumstances. It need not be confrontational or uncomfortable but to the point and done with grace for the good of all involved.