Sometimes irritating behavior is under-reported by co-workers; more often, the story grows in the telling. One of the worst things you could do is to confront an employee with bad or insufficient information. Doing so can has a negative impact on the employees, their perception of you and your organization, and negates the effectiveness of the intervention.
In most cases, such as with the employee you describe, there's more than one distinct behavior to be changed. Only so much can be accomplished at one time. Trying to deal with too many problems at once will only increase frustration for everyone and may actually undermine your coaching effort.
Telling someone what they are doing wrong is only part of the solution. Tell the employee what you want clearly and in enough detail that they will get the picture of what desired behavior sounds and looks like. It is best to share several specific examples of each desired behavior with the employee.
Meet privately with the employee to discuss the needed change, the advantages to the employee if changes are made, and the specific behaviors you want to see—and to develop a plan to monitor those changes as they occur.
One final thought: If all you are hearing is complaints, it may be time to take a critical look at your team. Good teams do more than complain; they pitch in and help one another succeed. Do your employees truly understand that they are empowered and are expected to help others? Do they have the assertiveness and coaching skills needed to do so well? Enhancing co-workers' abilities in these critical areas will result in more team cohesiveness and better overall results.
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The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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