"You're going to have some 'misbehavers', and I want to share some examples of who they are and what they are...
These are people that blow off company policies, mundane tasks, or deadlines; so you've got to give them extra time, extra attention. You've got to follow up, and you're always reminding them.
In meetings, they're never prepared. They're always late, and they act like they're not interested. Or, they're bad teammates. They're always doing their own thing. They're negative and sarcastic. They're a disruptive influence, and they're always testing you.
But here's the problem, their work product is usually okay. In fact, it might be pretty good. That's why it's tempting to put up with them. And therein lies the problem. If you have a misbehaver, chances are you're either coaching it or allowing it to happen. And you're the only one that can change it.
Now, you might say, how am I coaching it?
- You're accepting it,
- Rewarding it,
- You're overly-focused on results, or
- You're not holding them accountable.
That's how you coach it.
- When you accept bad behavior, you're endorsing it. It's a form of coaching.
- And every time you give them extra attention, follow up, reminders, or maybe extra time, you're rewarding them because you're accommodating them.
- When you overly-focus on results, they think that's all you care about.
- And if you don't hold them accountable, they have no reason to change.
You're coaching bad behaviors by reinforcing the bad behavior. So what do you do?
- You've got to take a stand. They need to understand what you will and won't tolerate.
- You need to take ownership. You're done giving extra attention, follow-up, and reminders. They need to understand that you're no longer going to accommodate them.
- Then, I want you to give both behavioral and performance feedback. Because the ends no longer justify the means. You're no longer just going to focus on their results.
- Keep setting positive expectations. You're holding them to higher standards because you believe in their ability to live up to those standards and stick to your guns.
- Hold them accountable. Don't compromise, but always celebrate their improvement.
So here's the key takeaway: Leaders, enable misbehavior.
- Don't accept it.
- Don't reward it. The ends can't justify the means.
- And you've got to hold people accountable.
Remember, you're either coaching it or allowing it to happen. And you're the only one that can change it."
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