I am currently reading "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team" by Patrick Lencioni. In the story, the new CEO of a tech company is put in a position to have to confront one of her team members. While she was put in the position she resisted the temptation to confront the team member via email and knew that it was a moment of truth for her as a leader and that it needed to be done face-to-face. I won't ruin the book for you but I felt her she handled this situation above reproach.
Recently, I received an email from a staff member outlining a long list of issues that needed to be addressed by our administrative team that impacted their department. There were many of these issues that we could not address. We simply did not have the resources to tackle all of this issues. At the end of the day, we had to make a decision that was best for kids and preparing them for graduation and life. One of these concerns we easily dealt with and took care of the concern.
Now when I addressed these concerns, I did so in an email. After reading this part of the book and how the new CEO handled her particular situation, I reflected back about if I should have sent that in an email or went to them in a face-to-face conversation. Doing so in an email did make it easier, but was it better? I struggle with this day in and day out. I believe the most important quality in any leader is the outgoing need to develop relationships with the people that you lead. Did sending this email help that or hurt that?
I would love to hear your thoughts. Please post comments below.