Do You Take What An Employee Does Personally?
It’s a great question to ask yourself…”do you take what an employee does personally?” People are complex and their reactions to workplace situations indicate this complexity. People react to you because of their own beliefs, the atmosphere of the environment and your behavior.
What can you do as a manager…Get a Ph.D in Psychology? No, try to keep it simple.
How can you cut through the complexity of employee’s behaviors and create clear insights on how to handle their reactions? Read the steps below to help guide you in handling the day-to-day employee situations.
Step back and evaluate your own reaction. If you are not aware of your own thoughts and feelings, you can’t effectively handle the situation. As a matter of fact, you will add more to the complexity of the situation.
Take the time to become aware about how you feel about the employee:
- Do you like them or not,
- do you feel they are justified,
- are your tired of their chronic behaviors,
- did you just have another employee complaint and are tired of handling employee’s issues.
- …and ask yourself any other question that pops up as you evaluate your own reactions.
A list of questions is important because they stimulate your thoughts and help you uncover how you are reacting.
After assessing your response, ask yourself “how can I best step back and evaluate the situation?” Just keep asking this question because it provides you with the ability to diminish your personal reactions and add clarity to the situation.
Employees respond to you based on their own personal beliefs. How they interact with the environment either enhances their performance or decreases their effectiveness. Just keeping asking, “How can I best step back and evaluate the situation.”
You will never handle ‘any’ situation in the workplace perfectly and that’s a realization that you will need to own immediately. The question above asked, “How can I best….” and the word “best” is the important word. You can only do your best in the moment. If you are willing to let go of controlling the situation and instead replacing your intention with understanding what is occurring, it will enhance your ability to do your best.
What can you do to understand the motivation of an employee’s behavior? I find that the best way is to ask the employee “what is bothering you?” Even though you provide a place for an open dialogue with the employee doesn’t mean you have to fix everything. What it offers is the opportunity for you to understand the employee and to work with the employee to help them solve the issue.
You could be part of the problem, but you are not the entire problem. The employee’s reaction to you is also part of the mix that needs to be addressed. Doing your best in the situation is being open to how you can change and allowing the employee to be open to the possibility of change for them.
If an employee resists the opportunity to have an open discussion, then you will need to let go of the need to control them. Instead, provide for them a clear statement of direction — you are available to provide support to them, but they are responsible for handling their reactions to a workplace situation. Your responsibility is learning to handle your own reactions to the employee.
I’ve been a manager for many years and I know that these three steps sound too easy for the daily interactions that you face each day. They are not easy to do– because you need to own your thoughts and feelings and take responsibility for how you handle the workplace situation. What these 3 simple steps provide are tools to follow to enhance your own ability to deal with workplace issues that regularly surface.
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