If you have a difficult person on your team, I’m confident I know why. I’m also confident I can help you fix the problem and move your team forward.
The Problem: You have a difficult employee on your team.
The Reason the Problem is a Problem: They impact team culture. Bring people down. Impact team performance and make communication challenging between peers, other teams and even with you.
The Reason the Problem is a Problem for YOU: You are uncomfortable around them. You are annoyed with them. They frustrate you. You may even be fearful or intimidated by them.
The Solution: You are likely missing one or all of the following. These elements are required to address difficult people on a team. Take this week, get yourself organized and have all of this implemented in the next 30 days.
Expectations are not clear and/or communicated: I’m not talking about goals or rules. I’m talking about established, clarified, communicated and consistently discussed expectations about how employees (and managers) will behave on the team. In the absence of these norms, poor behavior will continue and will be ‘tolerated’. People don’t have the same expectations. People cannot read your mind. You must communicate expectations, explicitly and repetitively for them to take hold. Listen to this podcast to get your expectations dialed in: Setting Expectations
Key Performance Indicators are not established by position/role: Every position in an organization must have determined, communicated and reviewed measurable outcomes that demonstrate how the roles contribute to the organization’s success. Without measurable expectations for each role, performance is likely inconsistently assessed (at best) or performance is assessed based on the manager’s opinion (at worst). Difficult people thrive in this type of environment because their performance measures are unclear and their poor performance is easily defended and blamed on other circumstances. Listen to the podcast to get your KPI all set up. Establishing KPI
Managers are not meeting with employees 1:1, consistently: All employees should have a moderately formal sit-down with their manager (at least) monthly. This 1:1 should consist of clear measures related to projects, benchmarks, KPI, personal development and support required / needed from the manager. When difficult people are on the team, this practice is one of the simplest ways to mitigate their impact and limit their potential belief that managers are picking on them. Meet with everyone, consistently. Review their performance monthly, consistently. No one slips through the cracks. Listen to this podcast to learn more about conducting effective 1:1’s. Conducting 1:1’s
Managers don’t have a step-by-step process for conducting difficult conversations: Without it, they avoid the conversation. When managers don’t address poor performance and/or behavior, it will continue. Difficult people continue to exist on the team largely because they are ignored, tolerated or insulated. This won’t solve your problem. Learn more about conducting difficult conversation in this podcast. Conducting a Difficult Conversation
Where am I wrong?
I haven’t met a difficult person I can’t coach.
I haven’t met a manager, dealing with a difficult employee that I can’t help.
If you have a difficult person on your team and you want help, let’s talk. Your organization’s performance, team engagement and the quality of your culture depends on your effectiveness in dealing with difficult people.
30 days. Do these things and you could change the dynamic of your team.