Leaders must talk to the person not the people about the person. It is much safer to talk to the people and give feedback about the person to the people. Why? Because we avoid the challenging moment to share feedback both positive or negative to their face. In some ways talking to the people about the person is like hiding. The problem is the people you are talking to know that they could be next. They could be the person that you are talking to the people about. The consequence of this action is trust & credibility erosion. Be the leader that has honest conversations directly with the person. It will build credibility and trust.
So many times, I hear my clients tell me directly about a person or tell me that they spoke with the people about the person. I ask them “Why are you telling me this?” and “When do you plan to speak with them?” Oftentimes, they postpone the anxiety. The greatest way to diminish anxiety is to move toward the anxiety.