Top Tips For Managing Problem People

Top Tips For Managing Problem People

It would be easy if everyone you managed were hard-working, collaborative, and had a great attitude and exceptional talent.  But sadly life is not like that and even if it was, it would be incredibly dull. Staff are hard work, they are bright, keen but not bright and keen at the things you want them to do. Some more challenging staff are passionate and determined but only in a way destructive and damaging for the organisation. Some, then, are easy to manage when others are just plain hard work!

Accept that management is a dirty and difficult job. This cannot and will not change – if it were easy anyone could do it. You will never escape the frustrations of the tasks at hand so knuckle down and go with the flow, but remain positive and with a focus.

Meet conflict head-on but do it carefully and systematically. Sadly conflict comes with the turf. Management is conflict so if you prefer to run from conflict, get another job. Once the conflict is over you will still have to work with your combatants so a sensible approach is always to be fair and logical and seek constructive resolutions and not just always getting your own way!

Look at the issue from the other person’s perspective.   There may be reasons why a certain person is hard to manage. It is possible that the individual will always be hard to manage but it is equally possible that their attitude is only a recent phase and that it may be down to your own management style. It might well be worth asking a critical friend for some sound advice at this point just to see if there are things you might be missing.

Ask for help when you need to!  Never an easy step, loss of face, doubts about your own ability, etc, etc.  Look for the right help from the right quarters who can offer you some priceless perspective on what to you seems like a massive hurdle. HR would be a good first calling point.

Write concise, measurable objectives around job tasks and targets.  If you write tight objectives it becomes very clear whether or not the employee has achieved what was asked of them. This makes evaluating performance a scientific process and not some dark art of smoke and mirrors. Hard facts, data and concrete measures work for me. Time after time.

Are they a Keeper? Does someone who is a thorn in your side really add value? They would have to be spectacular in order to keep them on the payroll and for their input to be so valuable that it outweighed any pain they would cause.

No quick solutions to deal with the challenges such staff present but you can reduce the risk they create!

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