Posted in: Communication, Employment, Management, Performance, Special Report
It can be one of any supervisor’s biggest headaches: Dealing with difficult employees. But instead of scrambling to figure what they’ll do next, try going on an offensive and coaching a difficult person — before they give you that next headache.
If you don’t necessarily want to single out this person, you can make it a group exercise.
Perhaps it could be the topic of your next regular meeting: 5 Things You Should Never Tell Your Boss.
You all can get a few laughs out of it — yet employees will get the more-serious message, and prevent future headaches for everyone.
- “I deserve a raise because …” Don’t blame your own rising costs or expenses. Not to be callous, but most employers really aren’t too concerned with an individual’s finances. However, if you can show how you’ve increased bottom-line value to the company — and you can say what other people with your responsibilities generally earn — you’ll have a much better shot at getting that paycheck.
- “No way I can do that.” Your boss doesn’t want to hear what you can’t do. Tell him or her what you can: “We can get this done by Tuesday” — instead of responding, “I can’t get that done by Friday.” Then lay out a scenario or two — like bringing in extra help, perhaps — that would make it possible to hit the original deadline. Be a problem solver — not a problem maker.
- “Don’t make me work with …” Making a demand that you don’t want to work with someone is not a good way to impress the boss with your can-do attitude. Uh, now who’s the person who has an attitude problem? If there’s a genuine problem with a fellow employee — harassment, unfit to work — take it to HR.
- “I sent you an email on that …” Obviously, the message didn’t get through to the boss — and saying you sent an email is not an acceptable answer. If you were asked do something or share certain information, check with the boss until you get the word straight from their mouth that they’ve gotten what they needed or expected. Bosses get countless emails every day. It’s not his or her fault if one gets overlooked in the shuffle — it’s your job to follow up.
- “I don’t know why you’re telling me — it’s not my fault.” That’s just what the boss wants to hear — you covering your tail instead of stepping up to help solve a problem. Instead, step forward and take charge: “I’ll get to the bottom of this and make it right.” Don’t make it the boss’s problem — even if the full fault doesn’t fall on you. It can be an opportunity to demonstrate your competence and abilities as a team player.
If the message still isn’t getting through, you might need to schedule a one-on-one tutorial. But hopefully your “student” will figure it out the first time through!