Nov 212014

Dr. Earl R. Smith II

Unfortunately, difficult people are everywhere in today’s workplace. All you have to do is to enter into any company or business and you will notice who they are right away. No matter what your company’s success is or even if they are well known for their friendly employee policies, these seemingly unmanageable and difficult people pose challenges for their executives and team leaders every day.

Whereas some of these employees are just negative or obstinate, a few of these employees are actually angry and some of them may appear apprehensive. Some will even deliberately start up frequent arguments with their fellow co-workers. Still others quietly stonewall and fail to follow through on commitments.

The more severe forms of problematic behaviors are, unfortunately, easier to deal with because they are usually blatant and prohibited as stated in the company’s policy handbook. In these situations, the best course of action for the company is to simply follow company policy procedures and implement the appropriate consequences.

However, before such behaviors are allowed to escalate to such devastating results, the company’s Chairman or CEO should consider retaining the services of an executive corporate coach. Such an executive coach will conduct leadership assessments as well as management assessments and be able to implement a plan of action that would entail both management and employees involvement in producing a less hostile workplace.

In general there are four guidelines that business coaches try to implement when directing executive leaders to manage challenging people effectively.

1. Personal Executive Coaching requires that a coaching client attempts to discover what it is that is causing the employee to be so frustrated and unhappy. This can be easily done by starting a formal conversation with the employee. A good coach will investigate why this employee has shown such inappropriate behavior. Is it because they are feeling overwhelmed with the amount of responsibilities that they have been given? Alternatively, is that they just simply feel that they lack the proper training to perform certain tasks? When a coach meets with the employee, they will try to be as objective and professional as possible – and try to get to the bottom of the issue as quickly as possible.

2. Business coaches will suggest, that if your employee’s problems are definitely work related, management should attempt to address their needs within reason. By doing this not only are you proving your company’s commitment to all the employees by accommodating the needs of this one employee, but you are setting goals for this employee to meet. A good coach will provide the employee with obvious examples of their problematic behavior and suggest alternative ways of acting so the employee can learn exactly what is expected of him in the future.

3. The guidelines of executive business coaching states that the employee should meet regularly with the executive in charge and revisit the issues. Often just observing the situation is sufficient for the employee to improve his actions and words. Business coaches explain that this is not only a great way to manage challenging employees but of managing all the people that are in both your company and in your life. By utilizing this technique, executives are able to open communications with their employees and they then, in turn, will understand what both the Executive and the business expect from them.

4. Business coaches advise executives that if a difficult employee refuses to cooperate and attempt to improve themselves, then, sadly, management should initiate corrective action. Ultimately, this may lead to the dismissal of this problem employee. For that reason, executive business coaching mandates that all executives and managers follow their company’s business policies, document the corrective actions that are taken and conduct proper termination procedures.

Too often some CEOs, Chairmen and other business owners fire an employee under the belief that they have an ‘at-will’ defense, only to discover later on that they are involved in a wrongful termination lawsuit. A person who is challenging in the boardroom is probably going to create challenges in court as they seek retribution after a firing. This might be avoided by hiring an executive coach and following his advice.

© Dr. Earl R. Smith II

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