So now that the Olympics are over I wanted to share a little about how I watched them. I have to admit that I start off wanting the best person to win; however, that is not how I end up watching them. I end up hoping and wishing that my country wins, even if they are not the best. I end up watching and hoping that the person that might be a better athlete has an accident or messes up. That is unless it is from my country.

I guess that since I am getting things off of my chest, I do the same thing with all of the sporting events that I follow. I might often say something like “I hope the best person wins”, but it is not what I am thinking.

Now you might be asking what this has to do with leadership? You might have thought that you have stumbled into a Dear Abby blog. So let me get to the point.

You see I think that what happens during my viewing of the Olympic games happens when I am leading a team. Instead of critiquing the performance I end up critiquing the performer.

As I was thinking about this topic, my mind went back to Sunday School when my teacher reminded me that Jesus loves the sinner but hates the sin.

So how can such a simple teaching and talk about the Olympics help us to be better leaders? After the Olympics, I chose to write down a quick little reminder to help me stay focused. “Critique the performance while praising the performer”. I should always remember that it is never ok to do the first without doing the second.

This helps the team members to understand that we as leaders are trying to help them improve and be the best they can be. It helps them to maintain their self worth and understand that our critique is not personal. Our goal should be that the team member being critiqued would leave the conversation feeling good about themselves with an accurate assessment of their performance.

This week’s experiment is to evaluate the recent critiques you have provided your team. Try to remain focused on a critique of the performance while praising the performer.