Managing people is part of a manager’s job

However, a survey by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) suggests that 82% of UK workers in management positions lack full training or qualifications.

Just 27% of workers surveyed said say they would describe their manager as “highly effective.”

Furthermore, the poll found that 72% of people who rated their own manager as effective also felt valued and respected. This dropped to just 15% where there was a bad boss in place.

When there is good leadership in place, 74% of those polled were more satisfied with their job, 77% were motivated, and 67% said their organisation had a good culture.

The study also found that bad managers and a toxic workplace culture are causing one in three workers to quit their jobs.

There are bound to be times when a manager has to have a difficult conversation with an employee.

It may be that the employee’s behaviour is proving disruptive and they are not working as part of a team as expected.

It may be that they are not as productive as they should be and they have been given a less than stellar performance review.

It may be that you have to inform people of delays or changes to a contract or project.

Other reasons might include:

Addressing negative feedback

Owning up to a mistake

Providing feedback to a direct report

Investigating inappropriate behaviour

Mediating disputes and conflict resolution

Whatever the reason, there are ways to prepare for that difficult conversation and hopefully arrive at a positive outcome.

Rather than labelling it difficult in advance, try thinking of it as a conversation. It’s wise to plan ahead for the points that you need to make but not to write a script. It is, after all a conversation involving at least two people.

Make it clear that you are open to hearing their perspective and try to show compassion. That means listening to what they have to say.

It helps to be able to give something back and in this context if a follow-up conversation is needed after outlining the changes that need to be made try to find positives when you have that conversation.

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