Anderson offers ideas for confronting poor performers in your organization with love, respect, and the promise of improvement while boosting your business in the process. He says there is a tendency to either avoid this type of confrontation altogether or to way overdo it by letting the offender "have it."
According to Anderson, however, there's a middle ground when it comes to confronting poor performers. He says as a Christian leader (assuming you are a Christian leader reading his book), "it’s your responsibility to reach it by taking a path that blends gentleness with firmness."
“Demonstrating love for others — regardless of the circumstances or how much authority you may have — is something that truly pleases God,” Anderson states in the book.
Anderson offers these seven tips for confronting poor performers:
1) Confront with class. “Our objective as leaders is to develop people, not punish them,” Anderson states. “By taking the time to have a sincere, private conversation rather than tossing out criticism in front of the whole team, you’re communicating a very respectful reproof that is likely to take root and spark a sincere change.”
2) Nix favoritism. In organizations across the globe, there’s “that guy”: the one who can do no wrong in the boss’s eyes, and who blithely flouts the rules that bind everyone else. Not so fast, boss! By allowing a top performer to violate values, exhibit selfishness, or break the rules without rebuke, you’re undermining your organization’s culture and your own credibility.
3) Make sure the correction fits the “crime.” “If you look through the Bible, it’s clear that the harshest words and consequences are reserved for individuals who violated values — who knew what was right and wrong and deliberately chose the wrong path,” Anderson says. “As a leader, you must customize your approach to confrontation to fit the person and the offense. Hold your leaders to a higher standard. And take a very tough stance against those who violate values, embrace selfishness, and create division.”
4) Beware of committing a false kindness. “Skipping tough feedback and unpleasant consequences is showing a false kindness, because this tactic just results in even more poor performances,” states Anderson. “As a leader, your primary focus must be on telling the truth with love, not on whether your team likes hearing that feedback.”
5) Choose your battles wisely. “There’s a good reason why Proverbs 3:30 tells us not to ‘…strive with a man without cause; if he has done you no harm.’ You don’t want to spark unnecessary negative relations!”
6) Follow up with follow-through. “Offering appropriate guidance to a team member is just as important as the initial conversation,” confirms Anderson. “Think about it this way: Where would we be if God didn’t continue to lead us back to the correct path again…and again…and again?”
7) Don’t dig up the past. “When Jesus came to the disciples on the seashore following his Resurrection, he specifically asked Peter three times — the number of times Peter had denied Him — to reaffirm his love,” Anderson recounts. “However, Jesus did not overtly remind Peter of his denials, the most significant failures of Peter’s life. Instead, He focused on defining fresh expectations by asking Peter to tend His sheep. We can all learn from this as leaders—your aim should not be to build up a case against a person, but to help that person and her performance improve.”