How To Confront Incompetent Behavior as a Manager or Parent

One of the mistakes managers and even parents make is condoning incompetent behavior. I share this because we fail to confront quickly and effectively. Not only do we fail to confront quickly we confront ineffectively. We allow our emotions to get the better of us and end up attacking people and not dealing with behavior.

I believe many managers are afraid of confrontation because they don’t understand just how easy it is. To make it simple, the steps are easy and quick.

1.   We tell a person what they have done wrong. (specific behavior)

2.   We share with them how is makes us feel. (frustrated, concerned)

3.   We tell them why feel that way (focused on them and their goals)

4.   We get there input. Do they really understand?

5.   We ask them how the problem can be solved? We may need to lead them to the answer with questions.

6.   We gain there commitment to correct the behavior.

7.   We follow up to see if it has been done. People don’t respect what we expect only what we inspect. If we don’t follow up we are showing them we don’t really care.

Once they have shown improvement with the behavior we must recognize their actions. How? Again we:

1.   Tell them what we saw that we liked.

2.   Share how it makes us feel. (Good feelings)

3.   Lastly Why we feel that way. (relate to them and their goals)

Quick example of how this does apply to parenting too. My son is grown now but when he was young his Mother, and I had divorced and I became a weekend and a month in summer parent. When he spent the month with me I paid him an allowance that was tied to chores he had to perform each day. One of those chores was to make his bed when he got up each morning.

The first few mornings I observed he did not do it, so I had to speak to him about it. So many parents start out yelling and nothing get accomplished, but I decided to use the confrontation method we share in our leadership course. I calmly said: Mike I noticed again this morning you failed to make your bed (What he had done wrong). Then I said: when I saw it I was concerned (How it made me feel) because your allowance is tied to your chores and that’s one of them. If it continues, I’m afraid I’ll have to dock your allowance and you won’t get that skate board as quickly as you planned. (focused on him and his goals)

Then I ask how did he feel about it. He said he felt bad but just kept forgetting. I ask him how could we help him remember? As an adult I had no clue but my 8 year old son said how about we get one of those yellow stickle notes you use and write on it make your bed and put it on my door. I got a post it note and he fix it and never missed another morning of making his bed.

I followed us and recognized his commitment, telling him I noticed he was making it every morning, how proud I was and it look like he would get the skate board on time. That wasn’t hard, it was easy and I would suggest all confrontation is easy, if we follow those steps. For more information on our Leadership System just hit the drop down tab: “Leadership in Action.” If you’re interested in learning more about putting this training tool to work for your organization, simply contact me. Thanks and have a great week!

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