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Managing difficult employees



Any manager can tell you that a difficult employee can consume most of their time at the office and leave them emotionally drained by the end of the day. And a situation with a difficult employee can last for weeks, months or even years. If your career goal is to become a manager, experts suggest that you begin developing your endurance now. You will certainly need it. But there are ways to deal with difficult employees. Unfortunately, many managers fail to realize that work is required on the front end before the problem actually develops. If the work is effectively completed and consistently implemented, it's less likely that long-term problems will develop that can cause employees to become difficult individuals. If the work has not been accomplished on the front-end...best of luck to you, because it's going to be a long journey for the manager, as well as, the employee. But here are some tips that may help. Set clear expectations and clear consequences. Many managers don't manage effectively, because they feel that employees should understand and get their hints, decipher their unclear statements and "know" what they are trying to say. First of all, if you are "trying" to say something...you aren't really saying anything worth listening to. If you have something to say, say it in a clear and concise manner. It's called effective communication and managers must excel in this area. Learn to have honest and sincere conversations with your employees. Disclose and share information that is acceptable to share. If you receive inquiries for information that cannot be shared at this time, simply state that. Speak to your employees in a manner that respects them as professionals and adults. Be clear about what you expect of them and ask them what they are expecting of you and make a decision of what expectations can/cannot be met and why. Also, be just as clear about the consequences of unacceptable behavior and stick to that commitment. Do not compromise. Commit to check-in. Make a commitment to check-in with your employees on a regular basis. This will help you develop an effective working relationship with them and it shows that you care and you are concerned about their well-being. Take a moment to talk to them, leave a compliment or to thank them for something that have done. People make a difference in your life all the time, but how often do you take the time to acknowledge it? Be more aware. Assist and coach them through to their career goals. As you develop a more effective working relationship with your employees, they will begin to open up and share information with you, particularly their career goals. Make a commitment to coach them through to their career goals. Find ways to help them develop a strategic plan to reach their goals, assist them by identifying their strengths and giving them job tasks to develop the skills that require more attention. In other words, helping your employees really helps you and your entire team. It becomes a win-win situation, so what are you waiting for? Start developing yourself as a manager and develop a winning team at the same time. You'll be surprised by the results! PM


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Paula Maddox

Coach | Author | Speaker | Minister | Doctoral Student

Tel: 404.939.7432   

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