Talking Behind His Back by Shawnee Love

A previous blog on getting too friendly with employees seemed to resonate with colleagues and they asked for more mistakes.

In response, I am beginning a series on Manager Mistakes and kicking it off with Mistake A:

Talking about your employees with other employees.

It happens all the time because:

  • It can be lonely to be a manager in a small organization without anyone to discuss concerns,
  • Managers want to bounce ideas off of employees they trust,
  • They might want to get additional personal insights from people who know the employee better, and
  • Sometimes, a manager just needs to vent to prevent saying something regrettable.

No matter what the rationale, saying anything negative about an employee to another employee is a poor decision.  Your words will talking behind backbe perceived as negative comments and talking behind the back.

Not only does that risk changing how your employees treat that colleague (he either becomes a leper or they rally behind him), but it can also blow up in your face if the employee finds out you were discussing him.  He will be offended and embarrassed- pop goes that relationship bubble.

As a manager, please remember that public praising of your employees is usually good (unless the person is REALLY shy).  Public criticism on the other hand is never appropriate.  Please comment below if you have something to add.

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