1. Break your proposals into three parts.
Deliver a more persuasive recommendation by organizing and presenting it in three parts. First, summarize your proposal. Then cite your top two or three supporting reasons (“By taking this action, we gain market share while cutting cost and strengthening our brand”).
Close by distinguishing between what you can and cannot control. This shows you’ve weighed key variables—the wild cards—that can affect the outcome.
2. End training sessions with a commitment list.
To increase the return-on-investment of a training session for your employees, conduct thorough follow-through. At the close of training, enlist participants’ help in writing a numbered list of action steps that the group commits to taking.
At subsequent staff meetings, use the list to revisit key learning points. Solicit input from employees on their efforts to apply the concepts to produce better results.
3. Tame difficult workers without ultimatums.
When managing a troublemaker, it’s tempting to issue an ultimatum: Shape up or else. But that’s risky because stubborn personalities may resist.
A smarter strategy is to place the burden squarely on the employee to change. Say, “It’s your responsibility to improve your attitude and behavior.” Then specify how you will measure progress. This removes any ambiguity about what you want.