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PART II

When dealing with several people, why not hold a formal "bitch" session? 

Give everyone with a complaint or gripe the public opportunity to vent. And whether you are working one-on-one or with an entire department of people, ask what they (your audience or team) would do in your position, or what they would do specifically to resolve the problems they are bringing up. Ask for a minimum of two solutions for every complaint. Let your employees know that you need their ideas to make a case before your executive team.

Take the time to understand and to be understood by everyone you come in contact with. That includes your family, friends, associates, vendors, clients, the media and even your employees. Rage and violence flourish in an environment where people experience, but are unable (or not allowed) to express feelings of betrayal, anger and frustration.
Take the first step by offering a closed mouth and an open ear. Keep in mind that if you’re talking more than listening, something is wrong. Then, become the verbalizer and share your own feelings with an individual or group of people whom you trust.

Additionally, moderate the flow of gossip. If you notice the proliferation of rumors being circulated among your employees, verify them from the source. Despite popular opinion, work is not the place to gossip. It only creates animosity, tension, and ill-will. When dealing with the gossiper, call their bluff! Invite them to join you to confront the other individuals that are being talked about.

Usually, the gossiper will shut up and not gossip again. Also, always have additional special projects to help the gossipers rechannel their energies into something more productive. The best tactic, though, is to remind your employees that eventually, their private affairs might be the subject of conversation. Why open themselves to defeat?

Repeat the following statement out loud.
Confrontation is good. And consequences are outstanding!
Come on. This time, say it like you really believe it! Confrontation is good ... And consequences are outstanding!!

One of the leading reasons for negativity in the workplace is that we are not confronting employee behavior directly
Your employees want to be confronted, otherwise they don't know how they're doing. If they don't know if they're meeting or exceeding the team's, department's or organization's (or your) expectations it then becomes virtually impossible to maintain a positive attitude.
Employees often will take your lack of interaction to signify that something is wrong or that you simply don't care. Or, they deliberately begin to engage in even more negative activities in the hopes of getting your attention (just like most of us did when we were younger).
And when that doesn't work, you can expect your turnover rates and sick day percentages to stay high as employees spend their time looking for employment elsewhere, or sticking around until something better comes along.

Instead of hoping that your employees know what to do, how to do it, why to do it and when to do it, acknowledge their behaviors, good and bad alike. Employees must know that positive and negative consequences exist for their actions.
For instance, if being positive is an expectation and an employee doesn't meet that expectation, what do you do? Exactly — you confront that person by asking them to come to your office or to join you in a private area away from where others can't eavesdrop.
First, depending on their personality type, you either ask about the family or you cut right to the point of this meeting.

Then, you let them know assertively that WE have a problem (If it's to discuss an accomplishment it is YOUR [the employee's] accomplishment. When it's a problem then WE have the problem).

You ask to confirm that they understand that the job description clearly expects all employees to refrain from gossip, to offer positive solutions to problems and to respect their team members by coming in on time. Once the employee acknowledges that they are aware of the expectations, you confront them with the facts, "You've been late five times in the last two weeks." (If you'd like software that makes it easy to track employee attendance look into purchasing People Manager.)

Ask them to tell you in their own words how they would feel if they were the one who had to answer the phone calls or pick up the slack because someone else was coming in late. Give them the opportunity to take ownership of the problem. Ownership leads to resolution. Focus on their strengths by telling them about what you envision them accomplishing in the weeks, months or years to come. Then, lead them into the specific confrontation and actions they need to take.

Chances are, your employee may try to divert the attention by shifting the burden to other people, teams or departments. DON'T let them take you down that path!

(TOGive (((((((them the opportunity to take ownership of the problem. Ownership leads to resolution. Focus on their strengths by telling them about what you envision them accomplishing in the weeks, months or years to come. Then, lead them into the specific confrontation and actions they need to take.
Chances are, your employee may try to divert the attention by shifting the burden to other people, teams or departments. DON'T let them take you down that path!

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