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Do my words "Beat em up, or Build em up?"

As leaders, we learn how to communicate the most effective way to garner the most productive response from our team. As a High School basketball coach, I remember how I would attempt to strategically navigate my communication from each player on the bench during a timeout. I would start with the ones that were most sensitive to my words and do my best to tell them, "everything is going to be alright. We're gonna win! You can do it." (hold their hand approach) Moving down the bench through the others that were on the court, I would invariably end in one kid's ear with a totally different approach: "Your man is killing us, can't you stop him? Do something to win the game! Make a play!!!" I knew that type of dialogue would motivate that particular individual.

The two approaches can translate to your team/ staff/ volunteers, etc. Used correctly and your team will thrive and be ultra successful, productive and fulfilled. Say the wrong thing to the wrong person, in the wrong way and they will shut down. I have even seen great team members leave a staff over what they felt to be harsh words. They simply never recovered from their leaders' comments. Words Kill!

Remember to use the "Beat em up, Build em up" strategy. Correction is fine as long as you finish the conversation in such a way that the staff member knows you believe in them. They must know you care about them. After all, aren't we all on the same team, attempting to achieve the same goals?

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