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Lend an ear to help solve employee issues

by on
in Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews

Issue: Don't always rush in to solve employee problems; sometimes, just listening is the best course.

Benefit: Effective listening casts you in the role of coach, encouraging others to put out their own fires.

Action: Listen actively, using the techniques below, the next time someone approaches with a problem.

Techniques for solving real-life, on-the-job people problems.

A staff member walks into your office to complain about a problem employee. While your first instinct may be to "fix" the problem, slow down. Sometimes, the best course isn't to jump into action or offer an instant answer but to simply listen.

If you immediately leap into rescue mode, you've lost a valuable opportunity. By listening actively instead of just reacting, you take on the role of coach instead of problem-solver, and you can more effectively encourage others to put out their own fires.

Prevent problems before they start with this convenient resource to help you plan your responses ahead of time.

Active listening isn't difficult, but it does take practice. Try these 6 listening techniques:

1. Tune out distracting thoughts and turn your full attention to the individual.

2. Let the person explain the situation in his or her own words. Take notice of important information but don't assume you have the "right" answer for the problem. Your goal is to help people find that for themselves.

3. Listen to more than the words. Body language, tone and inflection can all provide clues to underlying issues.

4. Summarize the key points about the situation. Allow, and listen for, corrections.

5. Ask questions. Even if the situation seems clear-cut, your open-ended questions can help with possible solutions. Examples: "What would the employee need to do to improve the situation?" "Do you see this as a performance problem, a discipline problem or something else?" "What would you like to do about it?"

6. Summarize solutions. If you've been listening carefully, you've probably heard the person suggest several solutions, perhaps even without realizing he or she has done so. Repeat them, and ask him or her to prioritize what steps he or she will take to solve the problem.

A Manager's Guide To Preventing People Problems is full of real-life examples, practical advice and suggestions to help you stay in compliance when taking action at work against disruptive employees, or even trying to help employees resolve reasonable requests.

Order your copy and find out:
  • How to address employees who are spreading malicious gossip or complaining excessively
  • What actions to take when an employee shows up to work who has clearly been drinking
  • What to do when an employee blatantly violates confidentiality policies and leaks information
  • When to address dress code violations (safety may be a concern)
  • The best ways to accommodate employees who have disabilities or who have religious practices they believe require them to miss work
Get your copy today!

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