The pronoun “you” triggers an emotional response. It is powerful when you are sharing or giving a compliment such as, “Jack, you are thoughtful in your decision making.”
The pronoun “you” becomes destructive when taking corrective action. For example, “Jack, you are wrong in how you process payroll.”
The top-down or autocratic leader who is controlling when coaching will say, “Jack, you need to improve your performance this week or else your team will be working overtime this weekend.”
Servant leaders whose goal is to be helpful will always avoid using the pronoun “you” when coaching. Instead they will say, “Jack, we need to improve our performance this week. What might we consider doing differently to avoid working overtime this weekend?
The pronoun “you” may get short term results, however; in the long run, we might lose the respect, trust, and engagement of our associates. Oh, I understand the thick-skinned individuals never think twice about using the “you” pronoun. Just remember, it’s not about you and most people are a bit more thin-skinned.
Dale Carnegie put it this way, “Show respect for the other person’s opinion. Never say, “you’re wrong.”