"One Sure Way To Break Trust With A Performer"

While attending a conference last week, I witnessed one of those "don't ever do this" kind of moments as a ringmaster. A department leader was giving a presentation and when finished, introduced the next speaker, who was someone who reported to them. In the transition, the second speaker indicated a need to use the laptop and set up a power point. The department leader was clearly frustrated as they set things up and then said, "You told me you didn't need this." They said it loud enough for all the meeting attendees to hear and it clearly shook the second presenter.

Yes, the second presenter should have been better prepared and indicated their needs prior to the session, but reprimanding them in front of the audience was clearly no way to professionally handle the situation. Making one of the performers in your circus feel less than their best just prior to a performance is a guaranteed way to get less than what you expect. It also undermines the level of trust shared between you. Address it at a more appropriate time when there is no audience and when the results won't be so damaging.

Trust takes so long to build and can be broken with just a few thoughtless words.