As I write this, I’m one of the many survivors of what was supposed to be a blizzard in my part of the state. Like my neighbors, I fretted about what was to be and finally put my butt in gear (and my car on the road) in order to ensure we had provisions in the house. Doing so, allowed me to rest easily knowing that we could survive long-term if we had to. Well, we did have a storm indeed, but not of epic proportions.
It’s funny how we always seem to anticipate the worst, and then find ourselves wondering why we allowed ourselves to get worked up over things that really weren’t all that bad. I see this a lot in management. Leaders failing to take action because they believe that the task on hand is much larger than it is. This is especially true when it comes to managing the performance of others. Managers simply choosing to ignore poor performance because they hope it will go away. It rarely does.
Earlier in the day, I facilitated a sold out webinar on How to Manage High Maintenance Employees. It seems high maintenance employees are becoming the norm in organizations. I believe this is so because their managers fail to call these people on their behavior when they first note that something isn’t right. Here’s what I told today’s participants, which I believe will be helpful for you. Most people don’t intentionally set out to be difficult at work, although at times you may think they do. Sometimes an honest conversation is all that is needed to bring these people back in the fold.
Think about this the next time you forecast an explosive conversation with someone, who possibly has no idea you are unhappy with his or her performance. Chances are, the blizzard you’ve conjured up in your mind is something that will turn out to be only a minor inconvenience.