It is uncomfortable when an employee comes to your office and says, “Either you do this or I am quitting.”
What do you do when an employee presents you with an ultimatum?
Do you give in to the ultimatum? Do you turn it down flatly?
Here are a few suggestions when you are presented with an ultimatum.
Step One: Do Not Give In
Do not agree to the ultimatum. When they say, “Either you do this or I am out of here,” do not give in and say, “Okay, we will do what you are suggesting.”
Step Two: Pause Before Taking Action
Instead of just flatly declining it and saying, “I guess you are quitting,” simply say, “When you present it like that, I have to tell you that my inclination is simply to decline it. And yet I know that you are a valuable person on the team. So, I want to give you a chance to see if you want to reword what you just said to me, to make it something that we could discuss and work out. Would you be willing to rephrase your ultimatum?” By doing this, you are giving them a little escape hatch so that they can change their mind without losing face.
Step Three: Avoid Making Ultimatums
If the goal is to avoid making ultimatums, you could coach the person not to do that again in the future.
If the goal is to avoid making ultimatums, you could coach the person not to do that again in the future. Click To Tweet
Ultimatums in a Leadership Role
As the leader, you need to avoid making ultimatums.
What about when you do make an ultimatum to an employee?
Have you ever expressed to your team, “Either you fix your attendance problem or you are fired?” That is an ultimatum and should be part of a performance discussion that you have.
If you are going to make threats, you have to follow through with them. Ask yourself, is your goal to support and coach the person to change their behavior, or is it to meet your expectations?
Ask yourself, is your goal to support and coach the person to change their behavior, or is it to meet your expectations? Click To Tweet
Continue to Excel as a Leader
Once you learn that little leadership skill, you might decide you want to work on some of your other leadership attributes. Of course, that is where we come in. You could take part in our Front Line Leadership training program, either by having us on-site or by enrolling in our public workshops or maybe using our new technology through our virtual training studio.
It all starts with a conversation at our website at uniquedevelopment.com. At that time, we can discuss the needs of your organization and make sure that we are a good fit for your goals.
You can also connect on our social media platforms.
No matter what it takes to help you fulfill your potential as a leader, we want to be your partner in performance.