The first thing you can do is turn your competitors into your allies. If you find that one of your employees has an agenda that is different from yours, it can be a real temptation to criticize that employee and single them out. It’s a common response with any conflict; however, it’s not really productive or effective. In fact, it will actually undermine your ability to be able to influence that employee.
A better option is to try to find out more about that employee, and get to know them a little better. Sit down and talk with him or her. Voice your concerns as the employee’s manager. You may discover that you can work through the conflict and turn the employee around.
That said, being nice and talking through it won’t always work. It’s a common trait among many of us to stay clear of conflict and disagreements. Things are left unsaid, and that makes things even more complex. As a manager you can’t avoid and you can’t always be nice.
Take a few minutes to reflect and consider if there are times when you should have spoken up and said something to your subordinate rather than holding your tongue. Don’t be afraid to give feedback even when that feedback is negative, and don’t be afraid to experiment. If one tactic doesn’t work try something else.
Make sure to keep your composure. Yelling and screaming at your employee might feel good but as his/her manager that is not the right response. You need to keep your cool and handle the situation as a professional. Yelling at an employee will not get their cooperation and it could lead to you being in a great deal of trouble with the HR department or your own supervisors.
Managing difficult people is a bit like a chess game. You have to stay one move ahead. You need to make sure that you document all incidents with the employee and how it was handled, just in case things don’t get better and you need to take further action.
Have a great week! And remember to look for the magic that is all around you.
-David & Kylie Knight