Today you will be brave.
You will talk with a coworker whose behavior creates problems for your team. This might be the person who:
- doesn’t do a fair share of the work,
- complains nonstop,
- doesn’t follow procedures,
- rarely completes assignments on time,
- is quick to blame and slow to take responsibility, or
- constantly gossips.
You will have this conversation because you want the team to succeed, and you are as responsible as anyone else for dealing with problems as they crop up.
You will be prepared. You will have clear goals and a plan for achieving them. You will pick the right time and place.
The conversation will follow a simple formula:
- This is what I’ve noticed.
- This is how it affects me and others on the team.
- I want things to change because…
- How can I help?
Of course, it’s going to be a two-way conversation. Your tone will be completely respectful. Your intention is to make things better for everyone, including the person with whom you are talking.
If the person’s response is defensive, you are okay with that because you anticipated a variety of reactions. You will maintain your cool and proceed with kindness.
You will thank the person for talking with you. You will reinforce every positive thing the person did during the conversation, so as to make future conversations easier.
The person will think about what you said and work on changing the behavior. It might not be easy. There may a slip back into old habits. You will be patient and supportive.
If the person makes no effort to change, you will accept his or her choice. You will consider your options and take another action that makes the most sense.
And once again, you will be brave.
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