We have all been in that situation one time or another dealing with a difficult employee. These employees are found in every workplace and they come in different varieties. Some managers have the patience to deal with them very easily and some do not. It has taken me many years of managing employees to understand how to properly (and politely) deal with these difficult situations.
Let’s look at some good methods to help you deal with these types.
- Stay calm at all times during any confrontation with a difficult employee. Always say to yourself that acting out in an angerly way will never resolve any issues.
- Listen and be empathetic to the disgruntled employee before you talk or react to them. Listening shows that you are compassionate to what they are saying. Put yourself in the persons shoes as you don’t know what they may be dealing with.
- Discuss everything in a private area. No one likes a confrontation or an issue to be public in front of other co-workers. This just makes for an awkward situation for all parties involved. Find a quiet area, sit down, and discuss the issue like adults.
- Don’t return anger with anger. Do not raise your voice as it is a sign of disrespect and a loss of dignity to your position. This only will show your weakness to the difficult employee. This also adds fuel to the aready raging fire.
- Document, document, document. After any conversations, make sure that you document what happened as soon as you can. You don’t want to forget any pertinent information that was discussed as this could be used if any further actions are needed to be taken.