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You've definitely noticed the flaws within your team. But how on earth do you get these flaws ironed out? It's kind of scary to tell a colleague he is ruining the team's effectiveness. And when you do tell him, it doesn't work out that well.

Pinpointing pain points, the glorius joy of being a team leader. We all know that anxiety lump in our throats, hesitating to tell others "what should be done better".

Some of you might have lost that anxiety in the meantime. Because you simply don't want to FEEL anymore or... you've found a way to iron out flaws in a very decent way.

Yes, it is possible, discussing pain points within your team in a decent way. But how?

1. No excuses

"It seems like my colleague avoids me, I haven't been able to talk to him yet", is one of the numerous excuses we get at the start of our coaching programs. Or the well-known "well, no one is really complaining, so there's nothing to talk about".

There is, mighty leader, there always is. Cut the crap or stop your quest to be a vivacious leader right here. There's always room for improvement. You might only miss the motivation to improve.

2. Ask instead of tell

Throw excuses out of the window. Postponing does not solve all problems. Motivation for the good, check. Time to tell everyone what the problem is.

"Hey you in the blue shirt, please stop designing these horrendous newsletters."

Well, that's convincing. And you've asked politely by including please, right? He will definitely stop designing newsletters and never wear a blue shirt again. He will probably resign too.

Asking the right questions is step number two. Instead of telling, start by asking. Use the words 'How' or 'What' starting open questions, and make sure you do not put a judgement inside your question. Your team member's opinion needs to matter.

Including judgement:

Hey Matt, we really need to improve our newsletters, don't you think?

Open questions:

Hey Matt, how would you rate the design of our last 5 newsletters? Is there anything we can improve?

3. Importance

By asking via open questions, you start a conversation. If Matt isn't up for a conversation, pinpoint the importance of the newsletters for the company and his job to design them. This gives Matt importance and responsibility to talk about this task.

Our newsletter is a great chance to get potential leads warmed up for our products. We have a great subscribe-rate coming from the website, so people are interested in our company. When we can turn all these subscribers into buyers, you are really important for our profits these days, Matt.

4. Appreciate

Make sure you appreciate his efforts, in designing and talking about it. There's nothing wrong with a 'Glad you are around' once in a while. Research actually shows that recognition and appreciation at work are far more important than the financial benefits.

Seems like your design work starts to pay off, Matt. Buying through newsletter-links take off! Great job! Do you have any further tricks in mind to lure customers into our sales funnel?

5. We're all human

That's for sure. We all have feelings and emotions out there. Everyone makes mistakes and we are all visiting the toilet on a regular basis. It's human to talk and to feel nervous sometimes.

Be aware of this shared human aspect and create an open culture in it. Fail often and as early as you can in the process.

Hey Matt, nice try with these extra buttons. Analytics unfortunately shows no clicks at all. Let's dig deeper into the user experience, what are other options to get our subscribers to this product page?

Within a company, individual team members should be able to express themselves fully (within reasonable moral standards) to spread their talents. All employees should also be able to contribute to the shared goal.

By creating such a culture, tough talks are history. And if there's a tough talk passing by, make sure that:

1. You do it immediately

2. You ask several open questions to get the team member to pinpoint the problem

3. You emphasize the importance of his/her contribution

4. You appreciate efforts done and to be done

5. You feel free to make mistakes and let others make mistakes too, all in order to get to great - shared! - results.

Start your engines!