Vincy Workplace
April 28, 2017
Resolving difficult behaviours?

In every work environment, there is a person who just seems to go out of their way to make others miserable. Some are never satisfied, others just complain about everything and still others make working difficult in every way. These types of individuals put a drain on employee morale and productivity overall, so it’s important to address the issue. In doing so, remember that for the discussion to work, don’t attack the person, speak about their behaviours and the impact it’s having. There are no difficult people, just difficult behaviours that can change. Here are a few tips to help:

1. Separate the person from the behaviour. The person is not their behaviour.

2. Nip it in the bud. Don’t delay and hope for things to get better. Address the issue immediately.

3. Use your listening skills. Walk in their shoes for a little while and see things through their eyes. Don’t jump to conclusions; just listen, then paraphrase and make sure you understand their point of view.

4. It’s not about you. Chances are people who display difficult behaviours may not be aware of it. They have many other issues that affect their behaviour or that’s the only way they know to handle an issue.

5. Outline the expectations. Sometimes, people just don’t know that certain behaviours are expected of them, so be specific either in a goal plan or during your appraisal time.

6. Avoid the broken record syndrome. Address an issue and move on. Constantly discussing it without a consequence trivializes everything.

7. HR/Ombudsperson. When all else fails, take up the issue with the HR department or a mediator. Ensure that the third party is neutral.

8. Positive reinforcement. Always say something positive at the end of the discussion that emphasizes the person’s value to the organization.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected]

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