The sweet taste of medicine

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October 16, 2014- ISSN# 1545-2646




The sweet taste of medicine

I happened to hear a commercial the other day talking about candy flavored cough syrup.  They were touting how kids just love the taste.  I guess from the perspective of getting the medicine into the child this is a good thing. The bad thing is that it can create a desire to take flavored medicine.

As a child, I can remember not wanting to get sick just because the taste of the remedy – cough syrup – tasted so bad!  I surely did not want to take anymore of that stuff if I could get around it and the best way was not to get sick.

I started to think about how as business leaders we sometimes deal with employees and give them information coated like candy so that they don’t get offended or feel hurt or any number of reasons to sugar coat the reality of the situation.

I’m not promoting being disrespectful or treating them in a way which violates their personal being.  What I am getting at is that our society has caused some business leaders to not directly deal with situations and as a result inadvertently condone a poor or non-performing behavior.

I’ll be the first person to agree that some leaders in the past have gone way to far overboard in reprimanding some employees.  It was the way in which they addressed the situation and not what was being reprimanded about.  Unfortunately do to the energy level imposed on the employee, the only take away from the event was how the leaders delivered the message and not the message it self.

Over the course of time and employees not accepting this overt level of treatment, the softening of the behaviors did come around.  Leaders are far more reserved in their behaviors but at the same time have coddled employees about performance related issues.

This in turn sends the wrong message to the employee as they are not sure if they are being told to correct a result or simply being told that the result exists. Too often a manager will talk to their sales team about doing the numbers, lead development, contacts, etc. They may establish goals and objectives and then measure performance against those marks.  When those marks are missed, the discussion is about the miss and not always about the correction and more importantly the longer term outcome if a correction to the numbers is not realized.

This week, see if your business culture is giving your candy flavored medicine to your employees.  Yes the correction might be easier to take but is the employee understanding what they really need to do to correct the situation.  Much like not wanting to get sick as a child because the medicine tasted so bad, it could be a good thing to not give candy flavored corrections on performance issues with your team.  If the correction is not well delivered and understood then it is just another dose of sweet syrup to calm the cough!

Mot sure if you are giving your team the right feedback on their results?  Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945

Questions or comments – email us at or call our Office at (313) 527-7945

Copyright – JKL Associates 2014

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JKL Associates
18530 Mack Ave #242
Grosse Pointe Farms MI 48236

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