Do you recognise this poster?
It was common in municipal swimming pools for many many years but has sadly been replaced with more modern, but less amusing, messages. I thought it might be nice to resurrect it but instead of a warning to swimmers to turn it into a warning for managers about to embark upon a difficult conversation.
Running = Charging headlong into a potentially difficult conversation without any thought or planning.
Pushing = Simply imposing your view and not listening to the other person or giving them the opportunity to talk.
Acrobatics & Gymnastics = Being unbalanced in your feedback and only ever focussing on the negatives.
Shouting = Losing control and allowing a conversation to descend into an argument or slagging match.
Ducking = Skirting around the issue and having a conversation about anything and everything apart from the performance issue.
Petting = Sugar coating or minimising the performance issue with phrases such as “it’s just a small thing but ….. “ or “its nothing to worry about but…”.
Bombing = Making yourself feel better by berating, bullying and venting spleen under the guise of giving employees some feedback.
Swimming in the Diving Area = Getting out of your depth by giving feedback without the facts or letting too much time elapse before giving the feedback.
Smoking = Fuming about a performance issue but never actually having the conversation and hoping that it will just sort itself out or go away.
I hope you like these and that they make you think.