I started my position back in March. I have a direct that is known by pretty much every one to have some negative behaviors related to a harsh tone that makes many of the people she works with on edge because they are essentially afraid they are going to get their head bit off at any time without notice. When I started, I'd see these behaviors and address them directly with her. What I've noticed is that while I don't necessarily see the behaviors now, my staff informs me that these things are still happening, though it may have toned down a bit and they are less blatant.  

How do I address negative behaviors that destroy the team that a direct hides from me, but I'm certain are still happening without it turning into a he said, she said conversation?

pucciot's picture
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Behaviors are objectively perceived.

If you watch a video recording and perceive it - then it is a behavior you can address.


So, yes the words that are used and how they are spoken can also be considered behavior.

Non-Verbal communication and body language can be perceived behaviors.

Examples :

When you -- raise the volume of your voice
When you -- start stepping closer into someone's personal space.

When you -- pantomime pretending to pull you hair out 

When you -- Roll Your eyes
When you -- sigh deeply at a critical moment

When you -- cross your arms and sit back in your chair

When you -- lick your finger and point it up and out like you are checking the wind
When you -- flip someone the bird

When you -- send an Email with All Capital Letters and exclamation points !

When you -- knock over a stack of papers.

When you -- write words like "you are ridiculous !"



-- And often the Direct will disagree about how these things are interpreted - and what they mean.

- That is OK -- they don't have to agree.  You would just need to be consistent and give them a "Shot across the Bow"

Remember -- you want a change in behavior in the future.  You don't have to argue about the past.

It doesn't matter if they don't think "eye rolling" is a bad ting.

What matters is that you are the manager and you have asked them to stop "eye rolling" behavior - as being ineffective and deterimental to the team.

Now - they know -- you have identified a behavoir -- and you are treating them like a mature grown-up that can control themselves.  That is respectful.

Here is a PodCast about that.

I hope this helps.



Jollymom's picture

Ill check this cast. Your post is so informative. Thanks for sharing.

pucciot's picture
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I can also see from your post that you were mostly asking about 

Third Party feedback.

There is a Cast about that too.

Third Party Negative Feedback - How To Decide



Good Luck



jbyrd1984's picture

I appreciate the reply and will review those casts.  Thanks!

vwelch's picture
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In short, if you believe it to be true, then give the feedback as you normally would.

If they tell you it didn't happen, say "Great, glad to hear I misunderstood." No reason to argue, they get the message.

Good luck,