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"I don't know how to address my colleague's behaviour?"

If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone!

Addressing behaviour in the workplace something my clients frequently struggle with, including one just last week

The client in question is the Manager of a team of four in a circa. £10m UK caring charity.

She was struggling with the behaviour of one of the members of the team, not towards them as the Manager, but towards one of the other people in the team.

The perpetrator (lets call them that) is a long-standing colleague, they've been with the organisation far longer than my client. And their work is fantastic. But the way this person treats, speaks to, and speaks about another colleague in the team is far from ideal.

I asked her how she was handling it and what she was doing. Turns out she was avoiding it altogether! She didn't know what to do, so she did nothing.

And this is such a common occurrence in many of our charity teams today.

When dealing with people, and especially behaviours rather than skills, we often don't know what to do or how to do it so choose to do nothing, and to hope it gets better on its own!

But unfortunately, things very rarely do.

We immediately got to work and created a plan for dealing with the situation.

1) Preparation is Key! Plan what you want to say beforehand. Don't have a full script but do have a clear idea of your points

2) Get straight to the point and stick to it

3) Describe the specific behaviour: talking about people when they're not there, interrupting, ignoring etc; rather than interpreting the behaviour: inconsiderate, rude etc

4) Describe the impact of how their behaviour is perceived by others or how it affects the team’s performance

5) Clearly identify what different behaviour you expect in the future

6) Keep calm so the focus is on their behaviour, your message, and the desired improvements

Facing this kind of situation is never going to be something you look forward to (and so it shouldn't be) but with preparation and with experience, it does become something you are able to deal with well, and with good outcomes for everyone

Comment below if you’ve ever seen or been in this situation


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