Why you should communicate directly?
- It builds trust. Conflict can be very healthy it’s normal. By showing someone the respect to take the issue or your suggestions directly to them—in a respectful way—you’re saying that you trust that person—and it begins building the trust and respect back.
- It doesn’t destroy trust. Going around the person and emailing their boss, one of their coworkers or customers, or blind-copying a few of your best friends on your communication to the person you’re trying to burn is doing just that—playing with fire and burning a bridge. It hurts your credibility and personal brand in the long run with everyone involved.
- It resolves the issue—much faster! There’s an adage: the fastest distance between two points is a straight line. Period. Give the person the chance to address the issue first. If they truly drop the ball, then decide if the need is strong enough to go to the next level.
When you shouldn’t communicate directly?
- You’re planning a surprise party for that person
- You’re nominating that person for an award
- You’re recognizing them in front of their peers (but should definitely copy them in!)
You get the gist—conflict isn’t fun, unless you have a strange sense of humor. By going direct, we can resolve issues faster, create (or build on) a relationship and capitalize on opportunities much more efficiently.