“That’s just Sally. Don’t take it personally.” Is the previous statement an accepted response in your business? Managers are more reluctant to correct behavior than performance; yet they have the authority and responsibility to correct and improve both.
Managers can require employees to behave in a positive, respectful, and helpful manner. If your culture tolerates less, you may need to consider change.
Consider the affect Sally is having on her co-workers and manager’s reputation. The power and influence she has been given also impact the bottom line. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that U. S. companies lose $3 billion dollars a year due negative attitudes and behaviors.
Harvard professor, Howard Gardner discussed seven types of intelligence in 1983. Intrapersonal intelligence and interpersonal intelligence combine to form emotional intelligence. Generally, people with high emotional intelligence are nice to be around. They tend to be aware of and able to manage their own emotions and have an awareness of the emotions of others. This results in positive relationships.
Businesses benefit from employees with high emotional intelligence in a number of ways. These employees are better listeners and more collaborative and innovative. Work groups are more effective and businesses become more resilient.
Emotional intelligence can be learned and behaviors can be required. Address Sally’s behavior in clearly defined and observable terms. Did her eyes roll? Did she huff and puff? What words did she use to respond to the request? How did those behaviors affect the receiver?
Next, tell Sally what you observed and listen openly to her response. She may not be aware of how her behavior is perceived. She also may reveal important work issues. In any case, listen openly.
Prepare with your expectations in measurable, observable terms. For instance , you request Sally to openly communicate at meetings, and pre- establish the following: Arrive before the start of the meeting with information related to the agenda. Offer suggestions, solutions and information to support the project. Demonstrate respect through active listening and pleasant facial expressions.
Observe Sally’s behavior and provide her with feedback. Also, point out how others reacted to her improved behavior. Encourage her to work on her behavior in the same way she would any other aspect of her performance.
The manager must maintain greater influence than the employee. A behavioral agreement helps the manager to coach and maintain control. The employee should also be aware of disciplinary actions that will be taken should results not be achieved. Efforts to manage behavior will have a positive departmental outcome.
I’m the best computer programmer this company has!
~ How you treat your coworkers is as important as what you do.
I am entitled to my feelings.
~ You may have your feelings; you must choose to control your behavior.
My co-workers are all idiots!
~ Help me understand why you say that. ~ You may choose to find new co-workers.