Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Manage Employee Defensiveness in Confrontations

Defensiveness seems to be one thing supervisors can always count on from employees when confronted about their performance issues. Let's make it easier for you. Because defensiveness can be a potential challenge in any corrective interview, supervisors must use “tools” to make interviews less difficult. These tools are associated with language and attitude. For example, one helpful tip is called the “help me understand” approach. Use “help me understand” statements to set a positive, non-threatening tone when confronting employees. Example: “Help me understand what to conclude when you commit to telling the truth about filing your activity reports and then we identify serious discrepancies.” Your attitude toward the employee is also an important tool. If you are convinced a confrontation will fail to produce a positive result, it will show from the moment you speak. An employee should never be able to tell from your attitude that you have lost faith in his or her ability to bounce back.