Three Ways to Handle People Problems

February 10, 2012

People management is never easy. In every organization across America, relationships and people go hand-in-hand. This is a fast paced business world environment. Included in this pace are variables like conflict, stress, problem- solving, and decision making. These variables can create frustration and miscommunication among groups and teams.

As leaders and managers, we have to address the individuals who miss meetings on a regular basis, produce late assignments, are anti-team players who are non collaborators, and who break down consensus with remarks that undermine both goals and objectives.

If saddled with these interpersonal organizational problems, how do we handle the people involved?  Often the first impulse is to quickly and succinctly reprimand the person and “lower the boom”. Before we do that, we should assess the following three strategies:

Positives beat negatives: In every scenario, positive communication goes a long way at understanding what and why the person’s behavior exists in the first place.
Circumstances and situations: There might very well be a valid reason for the behavior. It is up to management and good leadership to simply ask and listen.

Excuse the unusual: If something occurs, a late assignment or a missed meeting, and it has never occurred before, look at the big picture and see how big the problem is in this situation. Stuff happens to all of us.

How leadership reacts and handles both the chronic and the “triage” issues can make or break the climate and morale of each individual. The three most fundamental techniques in handling people problems are most clearly found in “How to Win Friends & Influence People”, the Carnegie Classic.

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

It is all about how leadership manages their most important asset, the people.

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