- Turn Defensiveness into Cooperation
- Increase Synergy to Create Success
- Recognize Your Wealth of Potential
- The Process of Creating Habits
- Strive to be Significant
- Increase Productivity with Priorities
- Feedback: The Heart of Growth
- Earn the Respect of Your Team
- Delivering a Rational Point of View
- Embracing Core Values Every Day
Delivering a Rational Point of View
- May 25, 2022
Developing the potential of team members and increasing productivity is more important than winning a verbal battle
Approaching this part of your job with the willingness to listen, understand, and help yields more positive results than demonstrating a primary intention to punish and enforce rules. Although team members are frequently vocal in requests for organizational attention to their needs, you must maintain a rational point of view. Developing the potential of team members and increasing productivity is more important than winning a verbal battle and proving the strength of your own authority.
The first step in dealing with a complaint is to discover whether you are dealing with a personal issue that is the team member’s responsibility or with a situation more appropriate for management to address. Although they may be unpleasant to face, openly and directly expressed complaints are the easiest of all to handle. All too often, complaints are hidden from view and are expressed as symptoms that must be analyzed and interpreted.
Unexpressed complaints can produce several symptoms. Sometimes an increase in absenteeism, tardiness, or job turnover indicates dissatisfaction of some type. Irritability, gossip, grumbling, and arguing also arise from unexpressed complaints. Decreased productivity may also be a symptom caused by unexpressed dissatisfaction. More specifically, decreased quality of customer service, increased errors and waste, and slower response to organizational needs may all be symptoms caused by unexpressed dissatisfaction.
Often an expressed complaint is not the true source of difficulty, so you must always treat causes rather than symptoms or risk the problem flaring up again later. Just as asking questions can help you apply common sense to decision making, asking questions is vital during problems involving people. Ask carefully phrased questions to make sure you learn the real problem – not just a symptom. Ask questions like these:
• When did this problem begin?
• Who else is affected?
• What do you think is the cause?
• How would you like to solve the problem?
• What resources are available?
While a team member describes a problem, your appropriate role is listening; later you may offer concrete assistance, seek the cooperation of higher management, or – if the issue is really a personal one – refer the employee to a qualified agency or person for help or counseling.
If you determine that you are dealing with a minor issue that affects only one person, all that may be needed is one or two sessions in which you listen and help the person develop a solution.
During these sessions, listen to what the team member has to say without offering judgments, solutions, or opinions. Enable the person to work out a solution in a supportive atmosphere.
When serious personal issues such as physical illness, suspected or known alcoholism, or strongly neurotic behavior affect a team member, you may make a referral to a support organization. If your organization maintains some type of employee assistance program, encourage the person to consider finding out what resources the program offers. Your concern and interest assure the team member and acknowledge the organization’s need of that person’s skill and knowledge. In such a climate, employees willingly use their potential for productivity.
If you determine that the complaint presented is not rooted in a personal problem of the team member, you know that you are possibly dealing with an organizational concern.
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