The Growth Company, Inc. Reveals Management Secrets When Dealing With Workplace Challenges

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When hit and run supervisors spot problem situations, they race to the scene, take fast action and speed away, not realizing they may have left one or more employee casualties in their wake. If you’re a hit and run supervisor who regrets denting employee fender, try these strategies.

Unfortunately, even if they later say, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have snapped like that,” their apologies rarely erase the dents creasing their employees’ fenders.

How many times has a supervisor left the scene of a hit and run employee accident? Have any supervisors dented an employee's fender this month? What did it cost them?

When hit and run supervisors spot problem situations, they race to the scene, take fast action and speed away, not realizing they may have left one or more employee casualties in their wake. Many hit and run supervisors, have probably weathered multiple collisions – including some they afterwards regretted. Unfortunately, even if they later say, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have snapped like that,” their apologies rarely erase the dents creasing their employees’ fenders.

If a supervisor would like to overhaul their hit and run approach, they need to learn to slow down by coupling their fast “in the moment” reactions with peripheral view decision-making. When they see a trouble situation, they should ask their employee to meet them in their office or another out-of-earshot location. Then, before they reach a conclusion ask, “What’s going on here?” – and listen. If their employee tells them something they overlooked in their initial haste, the supervisor saves themselves future grief.

When supervisors need to critique an employee, they should take their foot off the gas before delivering comments. Supervisors who take a few moments to think through how they can best deliver negative feedback and don’t leave the scene until their employees both understand and commit to improvement achieve lasting results. Supervisors who instead deliver verdicts and race off can’t count on what they’ll find when they return.

Hit and run supervisors often take good behavior for granted yet zero in on problems. If a supervisor excels at dishing out criticism but rarely dishes out compliments, they need to turn their employee encounters into races won by letting their hardest working employees know the consistent good work is valued. Try a few, “Mike, you’ve really gotten the billing situation under control – and I know it wasn’t easy. Great job!”

If supervisors want problem employees to turn the corner, following up any corrective feedback given them with rear view mirrors works. Have any of the employees criticized last month taken what was said to heart and improved? If so, follow up with “I’ve noticed your efforts in the last couple weeks. Keep up the good work.”

Finally, learn to use side view mirrors. Hit and run supervisors believe they are right because they say so. They make up their minds based on what they see and rarely ask for or hang around to hear opposing views. The next time a supervisor catches themself cutting a conversation short because they don’t want to hear the employee’s view, they need to stop themself, not the employee, short.

Tired of collision management? The next time a supervisor finds themself racing toward a problem, they should ease off the gas and ask themself, “Am I jumping to conclusions? Let me hear what the employee has to say first.” If a supervisor wants the best results when they correct employees, they should take the time they need to word their comments so their employees understand what they need to do differently and commit to the improvements. They should widen peripheral vision until they give as much attention to their great employees as they give problematic behavior. And, finally, supervisors should use both the side view and rear view mirrors – because they can’t hit and run when they see the whole picture.     © Lynne Curry, July 2012

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Michael Collins

Michael Collins
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