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DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE or DON’T YOU JUST LOVE THIS JOB??? Karen B. Gokay, Esq. Director of Human Resources & Public Relations Berks County Intermediate.

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Presentation on theme: "DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE or DON’T YOU JUST LOVE THIS JOB??? Karen B. Gokay, Esq. Director of Human Resources & Public Relations Berks County Intermediate."— Presentation transcript:

1 DEALING WITH DIFFICULT PEOPLE or DON’T YOU JUST LOVE THIS JOB??? Karen B. Gokay, Esq. Director of Human Resources & Public Relations Berks County Intermediate Unit -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Presentation for: 2010 PASBO CONFERENCE March 11, 2010 1

2 SEMINAR OBJECTIVES Identifying Supervisory Traits/Responsibilities Identifying the Traits of Some “Problem Employees” Identifying Supervisory Strategies to Deal with these Employee Types Tips for De-escalating Conflict 2

3 QUALITIES OF A SUCCESSFUL SUPERVISOR Perceptive Good Listener Encourager –Do not motivate by guilt or force Assertive –Constructive; truthful; frank Decisive –Making those difficult decisions without alienating others 3

4 Some “General Tricks” to Successful Personnel Management Recognize your role/responsibility/authority Recognize the styles/roles of others Determine how to effectively utilize the talents at hand Adhere to supervisory guidelines, policies & procedures Hold individuals accountable Handle problems/issues when they arise Render decisions utilizing your discretion as appropriate Keep Administration informed 4

5 Effective Employee Relations Honest Two-Way Communication A Culture of Honesty, Fairness & Trust Sensitivity to Employee Issues Clearly Articulated Expectations Consistency in Policy Administration Regular and Constructive Feedback Support/Encouragement 5

6 HANDLING CONFLICT What is Your Responsibility? Putting an end to the behavior that is disruptive so that the tasks and goals of the department can be accomplished. 6

7 PROBLEM EMPLOYEES Why? Poor Employee Relations A Perception They are Not Appreciated Insecurity –Positive Reinforcement Needed –Desire More Attention Personal Issues Unrelated to Work Nature of Their Personality 7

8 THE COMPLAINER Personality Traits: –Lots of complaints –Imagines problems –Appears innocent –Provides no solutions; just problems –Gets worse if ignored 8

9 THE COMPLAINER Supervisory Strategies: –Listen –Don’t agree or disagree –Investigate Ask specific questions Insist on facts –Limit discussion to job-related complaints –Take appropriate action 9

10 THE UNDERMINER Personality Traits: –Wants to move up in the organization –Undermines supervisor; attempts to make him/her look foolish –Extremely passive-aggressive –Friendly to your face; consistently stabs you in the back, though 10

11 THE UNDERMINER Supervisory Strategies: –Inform him/her that you know what is going on –Do not allow idle time; keep him/her busy –Establish necessary limits regarding behavior –Take appropriate action 11

12 THE AGGRESSOR Personality Traits: –Bullies others to achieve results –Embarrasses co-workers –Throws temper tantrums –Attempts to make supervisor feel inadequate 12

13 THE AGGRESSOR Supervisory Strategies: –Utilize self-control in all interactions –Establish a set time to deal with employee –Consider having witnesses available –Anticipate challenges to your authority –Deal upfront with accusations –Take appropriate action 13

14 THE “BUSYBODY” Personality Traits: –Professional meddler –“Knows Everything” (Not really, though) –Likes to “drop in” to gossip 14

15 THE “BUSYBODY” Supervisory Strategies: –Meet with him/her privately and explain the negative impact of the gossip on the team –Do not allow idle time; keep him/her busy –Focus on the problem created by the gossip; not the nature of the gossip –Take appropriate action 15

16 THE PERFECTIONIST Personality Traits: –Avoids, or desires to avoid, mistakes at any cost –Loses hope when things go wrong; can become negative & overwhelmed –May push deadlines to the limit or miss the same –Can become short-tempered with “less than perfect” employees 16

17 THE PERFECTIONIST Supervisory Strategies: –Employ patience; not contempt –Acknowledge the desire for perfection but remind employee that perfection is often “in the eyes of the beholder” –Maintain expectations regarding deadlines –Do not allow “negativity” to prevail 17

18 “MINI-ME” Personality Traits: –Wants a supervisory position –Feels his/her way is the best way to accomplish an objective –Often “instructs” others as to how things should be done –Cannot be objective 18

19 “MINI-ME” Supervisory Strategies: –Remind employee YOU are the supervisor –Impress upon him/her that there is not just one way to do something –Explain behavior is counterproductive and bordering on unacceptable harassment –Take appropriate action 19

20 THE JEALOUS EMPLOYEE Personality Traits: –Possesses an “entitlement” mentality –Reacts with spite when others are promoted or receive raises –Complains of unfair treatment 20

21 THE JEALOUS EMPLOYEE Supervisory Strategies: –Do not enter into a discussion about others –Explain that everyone is evaluated or assessed according to their own efforts –Avoid being dragged into an argument –Provide employee with suggestions for professional development, if applicable –Take appropriate action, if necessary 21

22 COMMUNICATING WITH PROBLEM EMPLOYEES Maintain eye contact Watch the tone of your voice Time discussion appropriately –Behind closed doors –“After the dust has settled” Discuss impact of concern – On the organization, co-workers, career 22

23 TIPS FOR DE-ESCALATING CONFLICT Speak softly Speak slowly Make direct eye contact Be conscious of body language Search for the “win-win” Take a break, if needed 23

24 TIPS FOR DE-ESCALATING CONFLICT Avoid starting sentences with the pronoun “You” Repeat messages and clarify often Watch your language Acknowledge the position and needs of the person involved Ask open-ended questions Breathe!!!! 24

25 CLOSING THOUGHTS Taking on a supervisory role requires one to deal effectively with people It is a small percentage of employees who will create the biggest headaches Don’t forget to acknowledge the “problem-free” employees Recognize that you will make mistakes; learn from them Questions?? 25

26 CONTACT INFORMATION Karen B. Gokay, Esq. Director of Human Resources & Public Relations 610.987.8470 kargok@berksiu.org 26


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