Managing Difficult Situations
Posted by Louellen Essex on January 24, 2017 in Leadership, Managing Difficult Situations, Performance Management, Team Development
Managing staff member performance is challenging at best. Individuals come to work with a variety of skills, attitudes, and experiences that require leaders to be adept at adapting to varying needs by using customized approaches. One size does not fit all. Because performance management is complex and time consuming, it is easy for leaders to be blindsided by engaging in practices that won’t work or may even make things worse. Watch out for these attitudes and behaviors that most likely will back fire.
Posted by Louellen Essex on March 09, 2015 in Managing Difficult Situations, Performance Management, Team Development
Motivation is a complex topic. Because each employee has differing needs and drives, one size doesn’t fit all. Yet, everyone has a handful of basic desires: to make a contribution, to feel part of something meaningful, and to be acknowledged. Sometimes leaders forget to utilize those fundamental principles to create a motivating work environment. Here are some things you can do to energize your workforce.
Posted by Louellen Essex on February 19, 2015 in Communication, Managing Difficult Situations
No leader does everything correctly all of the time. Mistakes most typically involve misinterpretation of information leading to poor decision-making, not including the right people at the right time in important initiatives, intervening too late in a situation, demonstrating poor interpersonal behaviors that create defensiveness and a climate of disrespect, or not using resources wisely. A poorly executed recovery can make things worse, destroying the leader’s credibility and perceived trustworthiness. Consider the following “AAA” guidelines if you find yourself in the challenging aftermath of making a critical mistake.
Posted by Louellen Essex on February 03, 2015 in Managing Difficult Situations, Team Development
Trust is essential to a productive relationship between leaders and their staff members. Without it, the work environment becomes filled with fear and uncertainty. Trust is built through a pattern of trustworthy behavior that occurs consistently over a period of time. It can, however, be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Be aware of and avoid these trust-busting behaviors.
Posted by Louellen Essex on December 11, 2014 in Change Management, Communication, Managing Difficult Situations
We’ve all had encounters with co-workers that didn’t go well, yielding lasting negative consequences. The resulting tension in the air makes communication awkward and productivity often wanes. Realistically, some relationships are easier to repair than others, since you can’t force reconciliation. Making a sincere attempt to restore a damaged relationship, however, has a good chance of success if you follow these guidelines.
Posted by Louellen Essex on November 21, 2014 in Managing Difficult Situations, Team Development
With Thanksgiving around the corner, now is a good time to think carefully about how you show gratitude to your staff for their contributions to the work environment. Research tells us time and time again that many don’t feel they are appreciated for their efforts, particularly as the pace of change accelerates in many organizations, causing long hours and extra demands. Make sure your employees know they are not taken for granted. Tell them, through words and deeds, that you value their presence, their work, and their dedication. Here’s how.
Posted by Louellen Essex on August 21, 2014 in Communication, Leadership, Managing Difficult Situations, Performance Management
Sometimes leaders have to be critical in an attempt to improve a situation created by staff, colleagues, or upper level leaders. How the message is delivered can make the difference between a productive conversation and a damaged relationship. Use this template to guide your thinking as you craft what you want to say when constructive criticism is necessary.
Posted by Louellen Essex on July 09, 2014 in Communication, Leadership, Managing Difficult Situations
Conflict is inevitable when people work together in an organization. In fact, it’s a good thing because it most often means that those involved care enough about the situation to express their differences or discontent. If mismanaged, however, it can lead to undesirable outcomes. By using the right approach in the right situation, leaders can effectively deal with conflict, increasing the odds that the dynamic becomes productive. Here are five approaches to managing conflict with guidelines for using each one.
Posted by Louellen Essex on June 05, 2014 in Communication, Managing Difficult Situations
Being open to what others have to say is one of the marks of a good leader. When the message is critical feedback, how leaders respond can either create on open communication environment or shut down interaction. While it may not always be easy to listen to criticism, it is essential to hone the skill of non-defensive listening and replying. Follow these guidelines to turn criticism into an opportunity to diminish your blind spots and build productive relationships with those around you.
Posted by Louellen Essex on May 22, 2014 in Communication, Managing Difficult Situations
Passive-aggressive people, rather than communicate openly about their negative feelings, operate subtlety in mean-spirited, maddening ways. This might include not acknowledging others, taking pot shots in meetings, or spreading rumors. The behavior can escalate to attempts to sabotage leaders or co-workers by deliberately missing deadlines, coming late to meetings, going over the boss’s head to complain, or opposing requests made of them. Passive-aggressive behavior in the work place can be destructive if not effectively managed. Use these strategies to reduce the negative impact and help the staff person learn productive ways to communicate.