Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight November 11, 2020

Issue link: http://psai.uberflip.com/i/1308535

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ASSOCIATIONINSIGHT Portable Sanitation Association International News BIWEEKLY EDITION NOVEMBER 11, 2020 Page 4 Continued on page 10 Coaching Employees Who Irritate Others…continued from page 3 Going into any potentially difficult employee conversation, think about what you want to project and what you want the atmosphere to be. Are you a coach? A parent? A bully? If you go in with a desire to "set them straight," you are more likely to have a combative conversation. If you go in like Dr. Phil and that's not who you really are, that will backfire too. So, take the time to think about your own best, most constructive self and how you can use that to your advantage. Think, too, about how you plan to raise the topic with your employee and consider the physical setting as well. If you want things to be formal and to send a stern message, a sit-down in an office may be right. If a more relaxed conversation seems like it would be more constructive, you might suggest taking a walk around the yard together or grabbing a cup of coffee. I met with Cathy in her office, thinking that she would feel more comfortable on her own "turf." We might have sat outside, which I also considered, but it rained that day. It's always good to have a "plan B." Focus on Improvement and Success Raising a topic like someone's interpersonal ineptitude is not easy, so it helps to frame what you're trying to convey in terms of your employee's improvement and success. Don't pretend it is something else. Good example: Cathy, I'd like to meet with you later today on a couple of improvement topics. Not-so-good example: Cathy, let's catch up later today. You may personally feel more comfortable saying you just want to catch up, but employees are not stupid. No one's boss makes an appointment just to shoot the breeze. More importantly, it's better to be transparent about it and to show the best version of yourself. The whole point of what you hope to accomplish is to help the employee become the best version of themselves, so model it from your side of the desk as well. If the employee presses with a question like, "What's this about?" communicate your good intentions by saying something like, "I'm always looking for ways to help everyone who works here improve and succeed. I want to share some thoughts on how you can do that." Just the Facts When you get into your meeting with the employee, present a description of the situation that is hard to argue about by sticking to facts and factual observations. Imagine, for instance, you believe your employee alienates his peers by constantly acting like he knows more than the other drivers. You might say something like, "In the safety meeting last Thursday, you rolled your eyes when Tom was talking about the issue he was having with the DVIR, misstated the effect of surge on stopping distances, and interrupted Ben when he was asking about masks." Next, talk about the impact of the employee's actions and why the behavior is problematic. "As a result of these things, the rest of the group was distracted from what Tom and Ben were trying to say, and we lost time clarifying the impact of surge—an important subject, but not on the agenda. All of this matters because we are trying to create an atmosphere of inclusion, where everyone feels heard, and where safety is a priority."

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