Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Turning Negative into a Positive

During a coaching session yesterday I discussed with a client how she planned to approach some negative behaviour between staff members.

We agreed there were a couple of options. One, she could provide a 'lecture' to the staff group, thus avoiding any public identification of the culprits. Two, she could turn a negative into a positive by converting the lecture into a professional development opportunity.

Essentially the issue as my client understood was one of individual values and behaviours. How we would like to be treated by others and how we would like to treat them.

Were my client to choose to provide a 'lecture' many of those there would have tuned out. It is possible the culprits would have rationalised their behaviour by believing the manager was referring to someone other than themselves. At worst the message would have been wasted.

Instead, should my client choose to convert this into professional development opportunity she can use handover time to engage the group in a discussion on values and behaviours, have them identify how they would like to behave and be treated. This then provides opportunties for follow up. The Unit Manager could then take copies of the the whiteboard and circulate everyone's input for further comment. She could then create a series of 'values' posters to be displayed throughout the workplace.

Some of you may consider this 'soft' approach ineffective. Remember this. The deed has been done, it cannot be undone. The culprits are not known and trying to shame them publically would likely backfire. Why not take a different approach, a long term approach, why not educate rather than lecture? Thats the difference between leadership and management.

Let The Journey Continue
John Coxon

Taking You From Frontline Manager to CEO
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