December 21, 2020 | Alex Paradies

What Can Tom Cruise Teach Us About Employee Communication?

Employee Communication is one of the hardest skills a leader must learn. You have to master both praising employees for following the rules and reprimanding those who are not meeting organizational standards.

Recently Tom Cruise was in the news for an audio recording of him chastising two of the crew who were not following the strict COVID social-distancing rules during filming.

Here is the full audio recording (note … there is profanity).

Let’s start by stating that cursing and screaming at employees isn’t the preferred method for changing behavior. However, there is a place in every management system for communicating negative consequences for deviation from standards. While this rant may appear to be extreme there are some interesting things we can learn about the proper way to reprimand employees.

SBI – Praising and Reprimands

Employee communication and feedback should always include the following three things.

  • Situation – Describe the situation where observed behavior occurred
  • Behavior – Describe the behavior you saw take place
  • Impact – Share with the person the impact of the behavior

SBI was developed by the Center of Creative Leadership.

By relaying feedback about the direct impact of an employee’s behavior in a specific situation, you are able to clearly reward or rebuke behaviors. It allows an employee to easily understand why they are being praised or reprimanded.

Reprimand & Redirect

Employee communication should also include a call to action.

A reprimand should be:

  • Private
  • Soon after the violation
  • Focused on the action, not the person
  • Express support for change

An employee needs to have a clear understanding of what actions they need to take in order to get back in line with the rest of the team.

In this special episode of TapRooT® Ken Reed and Alex Paradies break down Tom’s rant and see which of these employee communication techniques Tom uses in his reprimand and if yelling is ever a reasonable response to employees not following a rule.

If you are interested in seeing an example of an effective reprimand enjoy this excerpt from the movie Gettysburg.

Current Events, Human Performance
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One Reply to “What Can Tom Cruise Teach Us About Employee Communication?”

  • Mark Paradies says:

    Ken … What was the percentage of private reprimands vs. public reprimands in your experience in the Nuclear Navy?

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