Inevitably, as a manager, you will need to have a difficult conversation at some point in your career. This difficult conversation can come from something embarrassing, an exchange between employees, bad habits, or an number of issues. These might include:
- Fights, arguments, or disagreements
- Flirtatious behavior with other employees
- Attitude problems
- Dress code violations
Here are some tips and hints to holding a difficult conversation with your employee:
- Seek permission to discuss the issue with your employee. Even though you are the employee’s manager, you should always ask permission to share some advice with your employee. This permission will help the difficult conversation go smoother.
- Explain to your employee that this is a difficult issue to discuss. Preparing them for the conversation will help them get into the right mental state for your advice.
- You may have been encouraged or requested to share this information with your employee by others. Do not dwell on those who shared this information and do not make excuses for your employee. You are the manager and must be bold in explaining the situation to your employee to improve his behavior.
- State your expectations for the employee in simple and direct terms. “This organization requires you to do… to be successful.”
- Advise your employee that making this change will have a positive impact on her career and in her life. Give examples of how this change will benefit her.
- Set a goal with your employee to change his behavior. Make the goal specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
- Follow up with your employee to make sure the situation is resolved. Be timely and honest with your feedback.
Having a difficult conversation with an employee may seem like your worse moments as a manager, but you will find that some of your fears about how the conversation will go are unfounded. Most employees are open to hearing about ways they can improve their lives and career. Use the steps here to hold your next difficult conversation with your employee.