In training, we are never encouraged to call out a participant who is misbehaving or not paying attention or causing a disruption. We are instead encouraged to catch his attention in some other way – some trainers opt to move around the room, moving the class’s attention away; others choose to throw out a question and call the participant in question; others still (and this is my personal favorite) strategically change position so that they are close enough to tap the person’s chair or do a pulse check (“Are there any questions?” while pointedly staring at the culprit). Some trainers purposely draws the attention of the class to that special participant in an attempt to trigger that sense of social decency. If all else fails, conversations happen after training hours.
In leadership, we never discouraged from reprimanding or giving negative feedback. We are, however, encouraged to balance it out by giving positive feedback as well. Most importantly, when a reprimand or negative feedback is given, it is a mortal sin to do so in the midst of other people.
As it is always said, “Praise in public; Repriman in private.”
We all know this. And yet we keep doing the exact opposite anyway. It’s almost as if we never learn.
One day, though, we’re gonna have to.