The Power of Public Criticism


When there is a problem within a team, it is up to the team leader to facilitate the correction of this problem. If the problem is with the performance of a team member, it is up to the team leader to get this person up to speed and smooth out any wrinkles that this under-performance has made between that person and the other members.

While sorting out such sensitive issues in public is often uncomfortable and always requires delicacy, Roger Schwarz, a contributor at the Harvard Business Review, believes that the public airing of grievances is much more effective than a private discussion. According to him, isolating an under-performing worker diminishes their accountability to their fellow team members, the one-on-one format bringing the focus to the leader-worker relationship where the worker-worker relationships are the ones that need to be addressed.

These one-on-one discussions can also serve to cloud the problem, with the under-performing team member laying the blame at another’s feet and leaving you to sort out the truth. When working with a team under the pressure of deadlines, it is important to keep the big picture of the project in mind and step out of your comfort zone to make the improvements that matter. To read the Roger Schwarz article and see how to handle these public criticisms, click the link below.

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