One of the hardest jobs a leader has is giving corrective feedback to someone whose behavior is difficult, aka "the difficult employee." This person's behavior is adversely affecting the team, not just you. You've tried all the soft approaches like ignoring the behavior, making a joke about it, dropping hints -- and still he persists.
Finally the time has come to deal with this head on. You need to give him straight feedback. Most people would rather scratch their fingernails down a chalkboard than do that, but, hey, you are the leader, so it's your job. You bravely say yes, but wonder privately if, by talking to him straight, you're going to make things even worse.
What if you could give this feedback to him in a way that would solve the problem and even enhance your working relationship with him? What if he would actually thank you at the end of the conversation, grateful that you cared enough to talk to him about it? This is possible!
Here are 5 steps to follow in order to to make the biggest difference possible. You might consider experimenting with these steps also when the stakes are lower, BEFORE an employee get labeled as "difficult."
1. Prepare for the conversation ahead of time.
2. At the meeting, first state your observations. Describe the incident and what happened.
3. Then tell him what happened as a result of his behavior and how he affected you personally.
4. Now ask for his views about your observation, outcome and/or assumptions.
5. Finally, request what you want him to do differently in the future.
As hard as it might be to confront a problem directly, remember that until you address the situation and ask for something different, you are actually part of the problem. Most people appreciate getting respectful, straight feedback about behaviors they need to change.
by Susan Begeman Steiner
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
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Self-Help Book / Personal Development