Tips and Techniques to Manage Difficult People

Posts Tagged ‘Coaching’

8 Benefits of Spending Time with Your Team

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  1. You get to understand them betterinterview 3

Almost every employee wants to know that their manager is genuinely and positively interested in them. They may not always give that impression by their demeanour but trust me – they want to know you care; they want acceptance from you.

If they know you care about them, then your relationship will be much more productive.

  1. You find out how they’re handling the job

As well as getting to know the individual members of your team on a human or personal basis, you need to get to know them on a business basis.

How are they getting along with the job? And it’s not a matter of asking – ‘How’s the job going?’ If you ask that, then you may get a list of complaints or you may just get – ‘It’s all going fine.’

You need to be more specific in your questions and encourage descriptive answers.

  1. It helps you deal with problems

One of the main benefits of spending time with your team is that it lets them know you’re there to help with problems. Of course, you’re not there necessarily to solve their problems but to coach them to solve their problems. 

  1. They get to know you 

Your team will want to know about you at both a personal and business level. Again, that doesn’t mean sharing your intimate thoughts, but it’s similar to the things you want to know about them.

Even although team members don’t ask you about yourself – tell them. Reveal bits and pieces about yourself over a period of time.

What you’re really saying is – ‘I’m human, I’m like you, and I experience the same situations.’

  1. You have the opportunity to give them feedback and coach them

This is one of the most important things the successful manager can do. This is your opportunity to tell them the things that you do like about their performance and also the things you don’t like.

Too often managers leave feedback until a performance review and often these are only once or twice a year.

  1. They have the opportunity to give you feedback

Now this may make you feel a bit nervous, and it certainly can be scary when you’re not used to it, but it is very motivational.

If you create a healthy open environment in your team then they should feel comfortable giving feedback to you. It may not always be what you want to hear but it can certainly improve your relationship with them.

  1. It encourages opinions and ideas to flow from them

It’s often the case that members of your team have positive suggestions that will benefit the team, the business and you.

However, they may not always be willing to seek you out and tell you about them. Perhaps they may feel foolish or embarrassed in front of their colleagues.

If you’re spending time with them, then this is the ideal opportunity for them to give you their thoughts. Of course, you sometimes have to dig this out and encourage it.

  1. It allows you to explain the company’s mission and the individual’s role in this.

When you spend time with each individual it gives you the opportunity to explain how the business is going and how the team is performing. This is often done at a team brief and that’s okay.

However in a one to one situation you can discuss in more depth and encourage ideas and feedback from them as described above.

Team leaders and managers, need to get up off their chair, or out of their office and spend time with their team.

That is, if they want motivated and engaged staff.

And if you want to know more, send me an email at alan@themotivationdoctor.com

And if you want to read more –

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Why Soft Skills Are Not Soft

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I must be honest, I hate the expression “soft skills”. I know that it’s used to differentiate from hard skills, such as the 20130628-1652591technical ability to do a particular job.

So what exactly are soft skills?

Do they include the skill to answer the phone in a warm and friendly manner?

Or perhaps deal with a difficult customer, empathise, and help them to get what they want.

Maybe even sell the customer a product or service.

Perhaps for managers, they include the ability to listen to their employees, and to empathise with their situation.

And to give feedback that reinforces good behaviour, or changes not so good behaviour

Don’t be a softy

Well, in my book, there is nothing soft about these skills.

These are the skills that will decide if a customer buys from you, or one of your competitors.

These are the skills that will ensure the customer comes back to your business, and perhaps recommends your product or service to other people.

These are the skills that may ensure your customer pays your higher price, and pays you on time.

Hard skills can get the job done. Soft skills make the difference between a job that gets done, and a job that gets done exceedingly well.

So-called soft skills are all about motivated and engaged employees, more customers, more sales, and more profits.

Soft skills get the sales and make the profits.

Maybe not so soft – eh!

all books

Motivational Management Masterclass for Hospitality Managers

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New Seminar – Motivational Management Masterclass

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How to Motivate Your Staff

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I’m a big fan of Daniel Pink, so I had to post this articledanielpink-600

However, it never fails to amaze me that we are still talking about staff motivation. Too many managers and organisations are still not getting the message.

I know of one organisation who advertise for call centre staff – daily! Their rate of attrition must be horrendous, and cost them a heck of a lot of money in recruitment and staff training.

There is still a carrot and stick mentality, and box ticking appraisals every so often.

I particularly like what Pink says:

“Ultimately what it gets to is who is the human being on that laptop, on that mobile phone, across from that customer? What is making him or her tick? If we get that wrong, we’re going to have a very impoverished future of work.”

And

“When you reward behaviour, you do get more of it, sometimes. When you punish behaviour, you do get less of it, sometimes. But not all the time.”

If you want engaged and motivated staff who produce business results, then you really should read articles like this.

And read my first book, of course! (And it’s not about carrot and stick)41tl4u-h9zl-_uy250_

How to be a Motivational Manager

More Sales in Singapore in 2014

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I’m really looking forward to running new sales training workshops for a client in Singapore in Q1 of 2014.DSCF2017

Also, I’ll be running another new workshop:

How Managers Use The JAB Method To Drive Performance

I just love being in Singapore, and when I do some work there,  it’s even better!

If your sales or sales management team would like to learn some new skills or refresh some old ones; please get in touch and we can have a chat.

Send me an email and we can set up Skype or Viber or phone call.

alan@themotivationdoctor.com

+63 917 517 5191

Or contact my friends in Singapore at d’Oz International.images

7500A Beach Road, The Plaza
#08-317, Singapore 199591

http://www.d-oz.com/

 

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How Not To Waste Your Management Time

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FocusLet me ask you a simple question; what do you believe a manager’s job is all about? What is it that managers do on a day to day basis?

Now, if you’re a manager, or you probably work for one, then you’d almost certainly be able to list a whole range of actions and activities. They might include: interviewing, solving problems, dealing with customers, planning, report writing, analysing data, dealing with complaints and hopefully, leading and motivating the people who report to them.

Many managers seem to believe that, over and above these activities, the prime function of their job is to identify weaknesses in members of their team, and resolve them. In other words, they relentlessly focus on the negative aspects of an employee’s job. They do this, at worst, by criticising, and reprimanding or, at best, by coaching or training.

Too much focus on the negative

I am aware of managers that spend a great deal of their time exploring an employee’s performance looking for some perceived fault or aspect that could be improved. Parents often focus on the negative aspects of a child’s school report rather than the positive.

Too many managers are spending too much time trying to change people.

They seem to believe that if they train people, tell them what to do or even threaten them with disciplinary action or the sack, then they can get them to change.

The successful manager concentrates on developing the strengths of their team members, not trying to correct their weaknesses.

Sometimes you have to manage around a weakness, but you can’t make people what they’re not.

I’m just not musical

When I was a teenager, my father sent me for piano lessons for about three years. He was determined that I would learn to play the piano. To this day I cannot play a note. I realise now, as an adult, that I am just not musical.

Strange as it may seem, I’m not particularly interested in music. My CD collection consists of about 6 CD’s which I rarely listen to. If I had attended piano lessons for even more years then I’m sure I could have become competent. However, I would never be any good at playing the piano.

Don’t waste your time

It’s a waste of time trying to correct weaknesses that can’t be sorted. Some people just can’t build relationships with customers, others can’t work as fast as you need them to, others can’t write a report to save their life, (and ‘certain other people’ will never be able to play the piano)

Build strengths

Your most productive time as a manager will be spent focussing on strengths and how to develop these further.

If you give people feedback on what they do well; then it is often the case that there is an improvement in what they don’t do so well.

By focussing on the positives, they feel more motivated to improve the negative aspects of their performance.

So there you have it; whether in your business or personal life, focus on the positive aspects of other people, not on the negatives.

Remember: People have one thing in common; they are all different.

 

3 Steps to Stop Sickies

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Are you frustrated by workplace absence?sneezing

If you’re a business owner or a manager then absence can be a real pain! It’s inconvenient, it’s damaging to customer service, you lose sales and it costs your business money. And as we all know, not all days taken off work are due to genuine sickness. Many employees take a “sickie” because their morale is low and they just don’t like or can’t do their work.

Make people happy

The challenge for managers and team leaders is to make people happier at work. And if people are happy at work then they are less likely to take a day off every time they wake up with a stuffy nose. Some bosses think that paying more money, improving job security or working conditions is the answer.

It isn’t and it’s also something that can be very hard to achieve.

Get on their wavelength

People who employ or supervise others need to become more tuned to their employees’ emotional needs and find out what really motivates them. This is also much easier to achieve than paying more money or improving job security, however there is no quick fix. Some years ago I inherited a tele-sales operation with low staff morale and poor sales results. It took nearly six months to fix. The long-term benefits were of course worth it in terms of fewer days lost due to sickness and an increase in sales.

To reduce the number of sickies there are 3 steps you need to consider:

1. Pick the right person for the job.

You need to get better at interviewing and selecting people. Take more time over it; pay more attention to the applicant’s human side rather than their qualifications or experience. Get to know them better.

Find out what makes them happy, how well they get on with other people and how much energy and enthusiasm they have.

Make sure they know what they’re getting into and be sure the job suits them.

2. You need to believe in your people.

If you’ve interviewed well and picked the right person for the job then you need to trust them to do that job. You need to constantly demonstrate to your people that you trust and believe in them by what you say, your tone of voice and also by your body language.

If you believe that your people are not to be trusted, that they’re unable to make a decision without checking with you; that they’ll turn up late and go home early, then that’s exactly what they’ll do.

If on the other hand you believe that they’ll do their job well, that they can be trusted to make decisions, and they’ll give you a fair day’s work, then it’s more likely this is what you’ll get.

As with all theories there is no guarantee that it will work every time, however the majority of employees are reasonable people and if you treat them as such then they’re more likely to behave in a positive manner.

3. Give feedback and coach.

This is probably the most important thing you can do to motivate your team members.

This is where so many managers and team leaders fall down in dealing with their people; they’re hopeless at giving feedback.

Many managers are uncomfortable telling staff how they feel about their work performance be it good or bad.

Most employees want to know how they’re performing in their job; they want to know if they are doing it right or how they could do it better.

If you really want to motivate your people then you need to give them feedback on what they’re doing well and also – what needs improvement.

When you notice an employee doing something you do like, tell them about it. When you notice something you don’t like, tell them about it.

Do it as soon as possible. Acknowledging a job well done is not much good six months later. Also, if you don’t immediately call someone’s attention to something you’re not happy about, then they’ll assume its okay. Either that or they’ll think you didn’t notice or you don’t care.

Do it in private; why is it some managers still feel its okay to reprimand someone in front of their colleagues? Even the mildest rebuke can have a negative effect on morale.

So there you have it; these steps will take time and thought however they’ll make a huge difference as to how employees feel about their work.

If they feel good and gain satisfaction from their work then they are less likely to find a reason to ‘take a sickie’.

Excerpt from How to be a Motivational Manager51zNGdLr4YL._SL300_311

 

How to get More Sales by Motivating Your Team

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7 Reasons Why Some People Are Difficult

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When I’m running a seminar on How to Manage Difficult People, I often say to the group: ‘Please put up your hand if angry adultyou’re a difficult person who makes problems for other people.’

Guess what – not one person raises their hand? Now you’re probably thinking that nobody is going to admit to this, particularly in public. But I believe that no one, in any way, regards themselves as a difficult person.

It’s the other guy

I’ve asked this question many times, and out of the hundreds of people who’ve attended this seminar, no one puts their hand up. They will, however, go on to tell me about all the difficult customers they have to deal with, their manipulative boss, their problem staff, and the neighbours who won’t keep their children under control.

These figures don’t add up; we have hundreds of people who don’t believe they are difficult, telling me about hundreds of people who are.

It’s hard to find anyone who admits to being difficult. But it’s obvious that we’ve all, probably, been difficult to another person at sometime in our life.

However, research tells us that there are only two percent of the population who are genuinely difficult. So, what causes this difficulty?

  1. Stress. Some people get stressed for all sorts of reasons. Often it’s just their inability to deal with aspects of their job and their personal life. They tend to blame other people and circumstances, but most often they have the answers within themselves.
  2. Personal problems. It’s fair to say that people sometimes have problems that are out with their control. A death in the family, breakdown of a marriage or a relationship, problems with children, or they may feel unwell and have health issues.
  3. Not competent to do the job. It’s often the case, in the workplace, that people find difficulty in doing their job and in finding help. Although they may not admit to this, they might feel inadequate and express their frustration by complaining, being negative and difficult.
  4. Don’t know they’re being difficult. Some people are not conscious of how they’re perceived by others. They believe that their behaviour is quite normal, and are unable to understand why some people see it otherwise.
  5. They see the world differently. We all see the world differently from each other. But some people’s programming causes them to become annoyed when others don’t see it as they see it.
  6. Low self esteem. Some people’s lack of self-confidence and belief in themselves, often causes them to be angry at the world. They believe that other people are out to do them down and that everything is against them.
  7. Lack of Acknowledgement. It could be that they have a massive need for acknowledgement either physical or psychological. A human’s need for acknowledgement is so strong that they’ll sometimes behave badly to get that acknowledgement.

I’m sure you’re aware of children who behave badly in school just to get attention – well, adults do it too. That person in your team, who gives you all sorts of problems which are often difficult to understand, may just be seeking acknowledgement. Withdrawing or failing to provide acknowledgement will cause people to become difficult.

So there you have it; it’s worth bearing this in mind, when you next have to manage a difficult person.

This is an excerpt from my book How to Manage Difficult People.7018_155572617408_699287408_2759755_4580853_n

Available worldwide from Amazon and all good book retailers.

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