Managing difficult employees and disruptive behaviours – 3 strategies that will help you
To succeed in the global knowledge economy, it is important that an organisation’s staff are engaged contributors who are able to work within a team and treat each other with kindness and respect. However, nearly every workplace will have to deal with difficult employees and disruptive behaviours. Unfortunately, this can result in significant negative consequences to the organisation, thus it is essential that leaders are capable of managing these behaviours. Here are three strategies that will help you when managing difficult employees and disruptive behaviours.
Confronting a difficult employee can be stressful, however maintaining focus will allow you to effectively gather your thoughts and keep a clear head. Centring is an ancient visualisation technique that allows you to focus on the here and now, taking power away from outside concerns and negative thoughts, and helping you to remain stable and grounded. When dealing with difficult employees and disruptive behaviours, be sure to centre yourself so that you can communicate clearly, effectively and compassionately.
There are three steps to centering
- Focus on your breathing: mindfully release the tension in your body.
- Find your centre: remind yourself that you have balance and control.
- Redirect your energy: channel your energy into achieving your goal.
Find out what they care about
When an employee is being difficult, you may believe it easiest to write their behaviour off and focus on other things you believe more important. However, there is almost always a reason behind an employee’s disruptive behaviour and the best leaders listen and find out.
The best chance of improving the situation lies in knowing and understanding the disruptive employee’s point of view. Listen to them and find out what they care about. After all, the first stage of improving teamwork is to build our capacity to understand the motivations of others. Doing so will allow you to work more effectively with those difficult employees and ultimately accomplish more with them when at work.
Once you understand what they care about, work with them to help them understand what you care about. This is very effective when managing difficult employees and disruptive behaviours.
Engage them in team learning conversations
Rather than reprimand and punish a difficult employee, engage them in team learning conversations. Allow their behaviour to act as an opportunity for them to learn and grow, which will ultimately improve their productivity and attitude in the future. Some team learning conversations you can have with difficult employees include:
- Talk through breakdowns as opportunities for learning
- Seek feedback as a way to learn and improve
- Reflect together on both your methods and results
- Explore each other’s perspectives and draw shared conclusions
- Conduct experiments together to discover what does and doesn’t work
Although it is important for leaders to be able to manage difficult employees and disruptive behaviours, the most successful organisations go one step further: they turn their difficult team members into contributors.
Turning difficult team members into contributors
Here at V-Teamwork, we don’t characterise people as ‘difficult’, but ask the question: how can we have conversations with them to create positive, productive actions? We have developed a list of 9 common people who may appear difficult and explain how to frame your conversations with them to generate those positive and productive outcomes.
Enter your email for our infographic on how to turn difficult team members into contributors.