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Susan M. Heathfield

Managing the Tough Stuff

By September 27, 2013

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Employees are not always perfect. Sometimes, they mess up, fail to show up, miss deadlines and commitments, trample expectations, sport messy work areas, and behave inappropriately with coworkers. I have witnessed screaming matches in the middle of work areas; I've had employees purposefully fail at their jobs, in order to be fired.

Others have presented false documentation about funerals, lied on their applications, and abused intermittent FMLA time. All of these situations, and many more not mentioned, require difficult conversations.

You can become effective at holding difficult conversations. Practice in a variety of situations, and these steps, will help you build your comfort level to hold difficult conversations.

After all, a difficult conversation can make the difference between success and failure for a valued employee or, at least, an employee in whom you have invested valuable training and time. Care enough to hold the difficult conversation before the employee is unsalvageable.

Tell us about difficult conversations you've either held, or need to hold, in "comments" below. Thank you for sharing.

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