When you are having a difficult conversation with a member of your team, it’s tempting to use the word ‘we’ a lot, as in ‘we need to do something about your timekeeping.’
Using ‘we’ makes it sound softer, more inclusive somehow.
But it’s also fundamentally misleading. Do you really mean ‘we’ – we both need to take action? Or do you really mean ‘you’ – it’s the other person who needs to change?
Although these things are seldom clear-cut, it’s often more honest – and clearer – to use the word ‘you’ if the responsibility belongs mainly with the other person. Better to say ‘you need to do something about your timekeeping.’
Reserve the use of ‘we’ for when it genuinely does involve both of you, as in ‘we need to meet again next week to review your progress’
Have a great week!