Three Preparations You Should Make Before Talking to Your Employee About a Problem


One of the things I’m working on for 2019 is giving you tools to help you coach your employees and hold them accountable so that they are positioned to deliver the best possible customer experience.

The way YOU do that is, you go into discussions with your employees with a plan, and with confidence. I’m going to give you a 3-step method for how to talk to your employees about a problem, be that problem attitude, attendance, the way they interact with customers, anything.

Use what I call KFD

KFD stands for: Know, Feel, Do

Before going into a meeting with an employee, identify, and write down, what you want them to Know, Feel, and Do.

Let’s say you’re going to talk to an employee about her tone or attitude with customers. Your KFD could look something like this:


I want her to know her tone, defensiveness, and words are unacceptable. I want her to know how she comes across to customers, which is rude. I want her to know that her approach is giving customers an inferior experience.


It’s crucial that your employees know how their actions impact you; how you feel about their actions. Tell your employee how you feel: “I am disappointed in you, Lacy because I know you can do better; I’ve seen you do better.” Telling employees how you feel makes your remarks more authentic, and you are more likely to reach them with this level of authenticity.


This is your action step. What do you need for your employee to do? Here’s one way to express your “do.”

“I need someone in this position who will speak with friendliness and warmth, and I hope that person is you. Lacy, I need the harshness in your tone, the defensive attitude, and resistance to helping customers to go away immediately. I have an online course I’ve arranged for you to take and I will meet with you once a week for the next 4 weeks to provide feedback and coaching. Together, let’s transform your approach to customers.”

When you sit down and plan your KFD before meeting with employees, you go in focused and with more confidence. So, try KFD before your next difficult conversation with an employee.

Continue the conversation with me?

On Friday, February 1st I’m facilitating a 45-minute webinar on How to Solve Your Biggest Problems with Coaching Employees. If you struggle to address unacceptable performance or behavior, you should join me.