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7 ways to stop putting off employee confrontation

7 ways to stop putting off employee confrontation

It’s easy for supervisors to let poor performance go on too long. Do any of the excuses in the following chart apply to you? If so, here are some statements you can tell yourself to counteract those excuses.

Remember, it’s never too late to switch from the excuse mindset to the accountability mindset.

Excuse Mindset  Accountability Mindset

I’m too busy now. I’ll get to it later.

There never seems to be a right time to give feedback, so I just put it off.

It takes so much time to coach an employee. I’d rather pick up the slack than take the time to correct his behavior.

Coaching and giving feedback is my job.

There’s always a right time when it’s the right thing to do.

If I wait long enough, the situation will probably resolve itself, so I don’t have to get involved.

If I don’t communicate my honest criticisms now, the situation will only get worse.

If I say anything to her, there will be a difficult scene.

If the employee cries or blows up at me, that’s about her, not about me. I am a competent manager.

Nobody likes to get criticism. 

The employee has the right to know where he stands and a right to the opportunity to improve his performance.

I’m not perfect, so who am I to judge anyone else’s behavior?

Even though I make mistakes, the employee is still responsible for her own performance.

I’ve let the situation go on for too long now. I’m so angry that I’m sure I’m going to blow up and mishandle the situation.

I’ll do my homework and be prepared. This is no harder than anything else I’ve done.


Carolee Colter started her career working for a natural foods co-op distributor in 1973. She has helped hundreds of co-ops and independent retailers with management training, employee surveys and HR systems, and is part of the CDS Consulting Co-op HR Team.

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