Experts in Front Line Leadership

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What do you put up with?

Chances are that you have at least two or three significant and aggravating people issues that you know you SHOULD do something about and haven’t.

A few examples:

  • An employee or peer who complains constantly and is “high maintenance.
  • A manager who is completely lacking in leadership skills and treats his peers and/or employees with disrespect.
  • A supplier who consistently disappoints in delivery or service.
  • A customer who is so difficult to keep happy that they are costing you all of your profit margin just to keep them.
  • A sales person who will not change his habits, go after new business or hit targets consistently.
  • Excuses and reasons for why things cannot and are not being done (even simple things).
  • Endless meetings that don’t resolve anything and take up valuable time that could be spent doing something of greater value.
  • feel free to add in your own examples here.

If you are a supervisor, manager, executive or business owner you have the ability to resolve these issues. And as an added bonus, when you do resolve the issue, chances are a number of other positive benefits will become evident.

Why do we delay doing something about situations that bug us? The number one reason is that we feel that the effort and aggravation to resolve the issue is going to be worse than simply living with the problem.

See Something, Say Something

When a leader notices a behavior or result that is unacceptable and then proceeds to ignore or defer mentioning it to the individual, they are condoning the behavior and supporting its continuation. Untrained managers and supervisors lack the leadership skills to resolve these issues effectively.

A problem is easiest to resolve when you first notice it. The longer it continues, the deeper the roots grow and the more effort and time you will expend to correct it.

Tips to Tackling the Things You Are Putting Up With

  1. Imagine what it will be like to NOT have to put up with it any longer. How much happier will you be? How much happier will the people around you be? How much more money could the organization be saving or generating?
  2. Plan out what you need to say, how to say it, when you should address it, if you need someone else to help you and even consider practicing or role playing the conversation ahead of time. If you think resolving the situation could result in termination, strategize with HR in advance and get the support of your manager.
  3. Think about the likely objections, excuses, deflections or reasons the other person will use to avoid taking responsibility for his actions. Determine what your response will be.
  4. Have the conversation. In all cases, discussion in private is warranted. The person will be defensive enough in private, let alone if you attempt to correct them in front of others.
  5. For future aggravations, follow the See Something, Say Something rule and address issues earlier.

In many cases you will discover that the discussion is much easier than you expected, the situation will tend to improve almost instantly and you will be wishing you had done it much sooner.

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