Category Listing

Managing Difficult Situations

  • How to Mediate Conflict Between Staff Members

    In a perfect work world, employees would manage their own conflict, maturely talking through issues in a professional, respectful manner. In reality, however, they often lack the necessary communication skills as well as the initiative to discuss their differences. Managers need to intervene, helping them clear the air so they can work together more effectively. Here’s a model you can use to facilitate these discussions.


  • How Much Conflict are You Likely to Have?

    Many conditions, which can promote or inhibit effective conflict management, exist in every organization. The best leaders employ a carefully thought-out set of practices to ensure the work units they lead are successful when managing differences. By answering the following questions with yes, somewhat, or no, you can determine how likely your work unit is to effectively manage conflict.


  • What to Do When a Top Performer Slips Up

    Top performers, by definition, tend to consistently do work that exceeds established standards. Holding themselves to high standards, they are driven to get outstanding results in all dimensions of the work they do. When top performers face the rare misstep, they typically self-regulate by moving quickly to own and repair the problem. Common wisdom about performance problems dictates that giving constructively critical feedback and assisting the staff person in creating solutions is a good way for leaders to work through the issue. For top performers, however, this may be the wrong approach . Assuming the slip up is not of career-derailing magnitude, here are some tips to appropriately help the top performer have a successful recovery.


  • How to Deliver Bad News

    Sometimes a leader has to carry out the dreaded task of conveying information no one wants to hear. Layoffs, budget cut backs, and undesirable change can produce the need to deliver bad news to both individuals and groups. By employing sensitivity and tact, however, leaders can cushion the blow and avoid unnecessary damage. Consider these communication guidelines.


  • Managing Difficult People: The Wet Blanket Negativist

    Difficult people can make your work life miserable. Unless you have mastered a set of strategies to disarm them and gain some control, you may find yourself constantly stressed by the disruption a difficult person can cause. Most trouble makers have learned that their behaviors trigger a predictable set of responses in other people. Those reactions allow them to get the upper hand and, so, their behavior is reinforced and sustained. They set you up to fall into their trap and, before you know it, you may fall victim to the web they weave.


  • Mistake Recovery: The Art of the Apology

    Are you a leader who is open about your mistakes, willing to admit your infallibility? Or, are you more apt to pretend mistakes didn’t happen, ignoring or dancing around them? While all leaders fail at times, what distinguishes the successful from the unsuccessful ones is their ability to recover. And, those that effectively recover are often liked more, because the process “humanizes” them.


© 2017 Louellen Essex and Associates
408 Parkers Lake Road #211
Wayzata, Minnesota 55391
Office: 612.867.8291