The best way to help colleagues and fellow managers with their employees is to insist on behaviors. But most managers don't think this way.

Our recent documentation cast reminded us of the problems managers create when they try to get help with a problematic direct report. HR gets a bad reputation when a manager doesn't have any documentation, and then can't even describe what the direct actually did to warrant whatever punishment the manager wants to deliver. And the manager stalks back to his desk and utters the immortal words, "you can't fire anybody around here."

Before we have a cast about how HR can help managers, we want to cover the fundamental principle of helping by focusing on behavior.

This Cast Answers These Questions

  • What do I do when a colleague asks for help with one of his directs?
  • What can I do to help when they're angry or frustrated?
  • How do I know when what they're telling me is accurate?

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