Leadership Skills: Making Corrections

A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” – Coach John Wooden

Leading Teams

So, what’s the problem?

It’s a mystery that so many top leaders have trouble correcting the actions or behaviors of people they are responsible for leading. There’s a fear that making a correction will hurt someone’s feelings or that the leader won’t be liked if they are critical.

If the musical conductor doesn’t make corrections in the performance of the players, then they are perceived to be incompetent.

For example, the conductor stops the rehearsal to tell the trumpets that the phrase is too loud and to take it down one dynamic level. This is a specific diagnosis of the situation. This is factual and not a criticism of the trumpet players. They understand the situation and expect that the conductor will make the necessary corrections. They are in the back of the orchestra, they play a loud instrument, and they can’t judge the balance from their position. If the conductor does not make the needed correction, then he or she is perceived to be less than competent.

Why don’t leaders ask for what they need?

Move the example above into non-musical settings. If the leader does not make the necessary correction, they are perceived to be a poor leader. Leaders do the right thing every time regardless of how they feel.

When I work with leaders on team issues, most of the time leaders are reluctant to make corrections. Putting off the inevitable creates problems. Intervene at the first sign of a problem. Assuming that the person will self-correct or that the problem will go away is not accurate and, in fact, insignificant issues become large problems. Small conflict turns into a disaster of nuclear proportions. Paying the upfront cost of dealing with the problem is far less disruptive than waiting until it gets to a higher level and a disaster.

Waiting costs money, time, and relationships!

Waiting makes no sense. Waiting causes loss of time, loss of money, and possibly damaged relationships which cannot be mended.

How do I learn more?

Get my free ebook, Creating and Sustaining Healthy Teams: Preventing and Managing Team Conflict. You will find diagnostic, preventative, prescriptive, and resource sections that will provide more on this topic. Then send me an email with an answer to the following question:

What’s your biggest team leadership issue?


Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

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Hugh Ballou (Author)