Please Refrain From…

Do you recognise this poster?

poolsignIt 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.