Turnaround or Terminate? How to Deal with "Problem"Written by Anne Alexander
Do you struggle with a "problem" employee? If so, join crowd! Many of my coaching clients - businesses owners or managers - tear their hair out over one or more toxic employees. In our business environment, we tend to recreate dynamics of family we grew up, so no wonder problems develop.
It's amazing often a business owner or manager will endure a "problem" employee, unable to help employee make positive changes and unable to fire them when necessary. Tolerating a problem employee is like walking around with a sliver in your foot - highly irritating, but you can kind of get used to it. Then, when you finally pull it out, you can't believe relief! That relief generally comes in one of two ways: either you and your employee are able to make some mutual improvements, or you part ways.
I recommend a two step approach to this issue. First, you do whatever can be done to turn situation around. Very often, you may have made a few half-hearted attempts to resolve situation, but feel lost at sea about what else can be done. You must address issues directly, calmly and clearly with employee. Expectations must be set, problems and solutions explored. Check in regularly with employee to monitor progress.
On a more powerful level, turnaround can result when you learn your own and your employee's behavioral style. I like to use Platinum Rule assessment, developed by Dr. Tony Alessandra. It's inexpensive ($30 - $50), easy to understand and extremely powerful in helping us understand our own and others' behavior. Your style and this employee's style probably differ. (For more information on Platinum rule, visit: http://www.authentic- alternatives.com/platinumrule.htm )
The Golden Rule advises you to treat others as you would like to be treated. The Platinum Rule advances this to next level and suggests that you treat others as you would like to be treated. Your "problem" employee may be - and probably is - a different style than you. The Platinum Rule shows us four core behavioral styles (Relater, Socializer, Thinker and Director) and gives us many concrete tactics of how we can flex to meet other person's style. I have seen near miracles occur - proverbial light bulbs go off - when my clients use this assessment to better understand themselves and their employees and co-workers.
TRANSITION TO LEADERSHIP TRAININGWritten by CMOE Development Team
Introduction: “Why need for a transition”
Human beings generally thrive on personal achievements. True leaders, on other hand, thrive on achievements of their team members. Highly effective leaders guide, assist, and coach team members rather than do work themselves. Successful leaders learn to trust others and spend time developing people. They often do not possess these abilities when they first assume a leadership position. These abilities develop over time. New leaders can create a rift with employees because leader may become too “hands on,” thus frustrating employees with too many controls and over supervision. The transition to leadership may also create some personal tension because leader’s self-worth now depends on efforts of others. In short, a successful transition to leadership means leader’s have to shift their orientation and source of self-esteem, develop confidence in others and derive satisfaction from their achievements. The Substance: “How to make transition.”
Successful leaders re-define their need for power and control. Team members normally value a certain amount of freedom and autonomy. People want to influence events around them and not be controlled by an over-bearing leader. When you are individual contributor, close to work itself, you are master in control of your circumstances; your personal performance has a big effect on your satisfaction and motivation. The situation is different when you become a leader. Your personal contribution is less direct; you often operate behind scenes. Coaches work best from sidelines and during practice and intermission, not when lights are on and game is under way. Leaders create frustration for everyone when they try to be involved in every project and expect team members to check-in before beginning every task. World-class leaders delegate. They learn to trust. This means giving up some control. Leaders learn to live with risks and knowledge that someone else may do things a little differently. Every person is unique, and they will individualize certain aspects of their work. When leaders don’t empower and delegate, they can become ineffective and overwhelmed. In turn, team members feel underutilized and therefore less motivated.
Finally, leaders learn to transition in other critical ways. They learn how to live with occasional feelings of separation and people don’t always accept their decisions when faced with gut wrenching situations. Leaders have a view of big picture in mind. But challenge for leaders lies in balancing needs of many stakeholders: owners, employees, customers, and community. Because of this challenge, team members can feel alienated when unpopular decisions must be made. Leadership can be hard. It is impossible to please everyone all of time. While need for belonging and connecting with group is important, leaders know mission and vision takes precedence. Sometimes a leader should make waves, champion change, and challenge people’s comfort zone. Leaders may not always relish conflict, but they are not afraid of it either. Leaders are guided by standards, principles, and core values. Leaders focus on what is right, not who is right.