One of the hardest parts of being an effective leader is having difficult conversations within your team that are productive and create an open discussion environment. I just finished reading "Difficult Conversations: How to discuss what matters most" by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project. Here are their suggested steps:
1) Walk through three conversations to prep for a difficult discussion -- your, their and a third person's perceptions of the issue(s).
2) Think about your purpose and decide if it is worth addressing.
3) Start with the third person's perspective.
4) Ask questions to add your and their perspectives to the conversation.
5) Try to solve the problem and maintain positive working relationships.
This book is a must-read if you need help in creating a learning environment to work together as a team to be more productive.