Five Mistakes Managers Make When Dealing With Difficult Situations

As a manager, there will be difficult situations that you have to deal with. One of the most common is a member of the team who is not performing. So what mistakes do you need to avoid when dealing with difficult staff situations?

Mistake 1: Losing your temper

It is easy, especially if the member of staff is in denial, to lose your temper when dealing with difficult issues. If you do this, you lose control of the situation and, as a result, are more likely to fail to get a satisfactory resolution. Make a point of staying calm and in control when dealing with difficult situations.

Mistake 2: Not being specific enough

When communicating with a member of staff about their performance, you need to be specific and clear. Too often managers dance around the issue. Be clear about where the performance is falling short and re-state the expected standard of performance.

Mistake 3: Wearing ear plugs

No, I don’t mean this literally. What I am referring to is failing to listen to the other person effectively. They will have a view and may even have some specific personal issues that are adversely impacting on their performance. Be focussed on listening when dealing with difficult situations.

Mistake 4: Imposing solutions

There will be times when there will be no option but to impose a solution; for example, a doctor doing something that is clinically dangerous. However, in reality these are the exceptions. If you want anything to change, focus on working jointly on finding solutions.

Mistake 5: Failing to follow up

It is great to reach agreement on a set of actions but, if you don’t follow up and review progress, the staff member will see it as being unimportant. Once you set agreements, make a point of following up and reviewing progress.

The Bottom Line

Dealing with performance issues is never easy. Taking care not to fall into the common traps can make a real difference to your success.

Duncan Brodie helps accountants and professionals to successfully make the transition from highly effective professional to highly effective manager. If you have enjoyed this post, you might like my free management mastery e-course. Learn more here

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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