When you become a boss you become someone responsible for the performance of a group. In that instant, you become the designated confronter.
Some people will behave poorly. Some will underperform. Someone needs to confront them about it and you’re it. Others may choose to, but it’s your job.
You probably won’t like it. Over the years, I polled the participants in my supervisory skills classes about what they hated most. Confronting team members about behavior or performance always came in number one or two. The other top item was always, “dealing with my boss.”
You have to do it and it won’t be fun. But you can do things that make it less likely that a confrontation will be ugly and more likely that it will be successful.
Develop relationships with your team members. When you have a relationship with someone both of you are more willing to listen. You develop relationships with team members by showing up a lot and having conversations that include more than work items. Those friendly conversations will make difficult conversations easier.
Don’t put it off. A behavior or performance problem is like a rotten piece of fruit. They don’t get better by themselves and the longer they go, the worse they get.
Set things up so the conversation is more likely to succeed. Choose a private and safe place. Eliminate interruptions.
Remember that your goal is for the team member to leave the conversation concentrating on what they will do differently, not on how you treated them.
Read the rest here: http://blog.threestarleadership.com/2014/01/30/leadership-and-the-art-of-confrontation.aspx