Three ways of dealing with staff who underperform
Forgiving employees their errors is good for managers as well as for staff
When a mistake is made, the traditional approach is to reprimand your employee in some way. The hope is that some form of punishment will be beneficial: it will teach the employee a lesson
How should you react when an employee is not performing well or makes a mistake? Frustration is a natural response, but compassion may lead to more effective results than anger.
When a mistake is made, the traditional approach is to reprimand your employee in some way.
The hope is that some form of punishment will be beneficial: it will teach the employee a lesson.
Expressing our frustration also may relieve us of the stress and anger caused by the mistake.
Some managers, however, choose a different response: compassion and curiosity.
Not that a part of them isn’t frustrated or exasperated, but they are able to suspend judgment and may even be able to use the moment to do a bit of coaching.
Here’s how to respond the next time an employee makes a serious mistake:
1 TAKE A MOMENT Step back from the situation and get a handle on your own emotions – anger, frustration or whatever the case may be. You don’t want to operate from a place where you are just pretending not to be angry. Research shows that this kind of pretence actually ends up raising your heart rate, along with your employee’s heart rate.
Instead, take some time to cool off so you can see the situation with more detachment.
2 PUT YOURSELF IN YOUR EMPLOYEE’S SHOES Taking a step back will help give you the ability to empathise with your employee. The ability to take another’s perspective is a valuable one. Studies have shown that it helps you see aspects of the situation that you may not have noticed, and it leads to better results in interactions and negotiations.
And because positions of power tend to lower our natural inclination for empathy, it is particularly important that managers have the self-awareness to make sure they practice seeing situations from their employee’s perspective.
3 FORGIVE Forgiveness not only strengthens your relationship with your employee by promoting loyalty, but it’s also good for you.
Carrying a grudge is bad for your heart (blood pressure and heart rate both go up), but forgiveness lowers both your blood pressure and that of the person you’re forgiving.
Other studies show that forgiveness makes you happier and more satisfied with life, significantly reducing stress and negative emotions. – (Copyright Harvard Business Review 2015)
Previously published in The Irish Times.
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