- Stay away from ancient history - Some managers allow a subordinate to mess up a few times without saying anything. Then, they explode with a list of offenses a mile long. It's better to address each incident as it happens or let it go. Read "Good Boss Bad Boss" by Robert Sutton
- Be clear, but not combative - Don't dance around the problem. When you discipline a subordinate, both of you should walk away with a clear understanding of the issue and an action plan for a solution.
- Don't act overly optimistic - or the employee will come away with the feeling that everything is ok. You need to convey the seriousness of the feedback you're delivering and the ramifications if the person doesn't improve.
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