1. Identify the core concern before you respond.
When you discuss sensitive topics with your employees in August, take the mystery out of what’s on their mind. After you listen patiently to their comments, confirm their core concern by restating it.
Wait to respond until after the employee acknowledges that you’re correct in paraphrasing the core concern. This avoids misunderstanding while showing that you’re a good listener. Best of all, it prevents you from jumping in too soon and changing the subject.
2. Set a positive tone when handling misfortune.
Bad luck can strike at any time. It’s how you handle it that counts. If employees see you laughing off an unexpected roadblock, they’ll follow your lead and rise above adversity.
Respond by saying, “Let’s pull together and use this as an opportunity to show what makes us so special.” Rally the troops to withstand misfortune and stay committed to goal attainment. While it’s fine to commiserate a bit, prod your team to bounce back and move on.
3. Manage an uncooperative peer in two stages.
You can’t boss around an unhelpful or resistant colleague. But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless. Gain com-pliance by demonstrating empathy followed by collaborative problem-solving.
Begin by expressing the situation from your peer’s point of view. Show that you understand his or her perspective. Then add, “Let’s find a solution that works for you.” This shows your intent to work together rather than impose your will.