Having an issues with a member of staff.

Basically, my role is to mentor and support them and they are having non of it....they are resistant to my ideas and proposals.


How do I carry on supporting them and help them move on (improve basically)?




Solitaire's picture

Hi FP,

Have you rolled out one to ones with this person yet? I would suggest that it is best to get to know them before you start trying to get them to improve.

Also have you listened to the trinity casts? Sounds like you are telling them what to do (by saying they are resistant to your ideas and proposals) rather than getting them to come up with solutions themselves. People are much more likely to support an idea for change if it's an idea they have had themselves.

Good luck!


TomW's picture
Training Badge

Fire them. It might just be the jolt they need.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

We're going to recommend firing someone based on a note with about as much specifics as a fogged up mirror?  Naah.  Two wrongs don't make a right.

C'mon, FiercePanda.  Give us more than one sentence.


Fiercepanda's picture

I will give you more goes....I am a teacher who has just moved into a coaching role...I have a veteran teacher who thinks she knows best and refuses to believe that she is wrong in her classroom delivery. She is a GRADE 4 (NOT GOOD)  teacher and failing her students.


I have been given the role to mentor her and support her. What can I do to support her.


Firing in NOT an is a supportive role!!

Fiercepanda's picture

Like your thinking but have to look at what is going wrong before the big P45 is more about support...but how!

GlennR's picture

I learned a long time ago that, when behavior is attitude-based rather than deriving from a lack of skills, it can be extremely difficult to change that behavior, especially when a trainer, coach, or mentor is expected to do that and does not supervise the employee.

Random attempts to wipe the foggy mirror clean:

  1. Can his (your mentee) supervisor provide a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) which includes mentoring as one component? If so, is that supervisor prepared to step in when your mentee slacks off? I would hope that this is not a situation where you are the mentee's "last, best hope." That supervisor needs to be actively engaged and the two of you should be working together to the extent that your HR department and union allow.
  2. Are you clear on the difference between mentoring and coaching, because I've seen you use both terms. A mentor is able to share his or her own experiences while a coach starts from the perspective that the coachee has the answers, but just hasn't realized it yet. If you are mentoring an employee with years of service then I hope that person respects you and your experience. If that's not the case, I don't see how mentoring can work.
  3. If you are coaching, then perhaps you can get the person to acknowledge that he is not perfect, and then through a series of questions, challenge him to improve upon his performance. If however, that person refuses to admit he has a problem and sees no point in improving, then I can't help but wonder if you are not wasting your time.
  4. Is there another teacher whom this employee respects and has a close relationship with? Is it possible to loop that person into this situation under the principle that two heads are better than one?

If your efforts fall short, remember, you did not hire this person and you don't supervise him. Mentoring is not a magic bullet. Ultimately, others are responsible, not you. It may be that the best thing for all concerned is for this person to change professions. I hope your laws and contracts allow that.

In the meantime, I feel for the children, as I know you do.

All the luck to you,



Matthew's picture


As you know (but other's may not), a teacher who's a Grade 4 is (under the new Ofsted regime) on a pretty clear road to loosing their job

As Glenn says, they should definitely have a PIP in this scenario, which should clearly flag engagement with the Coaching or Mentoring support that's being put in place as an expected step.  If your mentee isn't engaging, then I'd suggest you check with their manager that they (the manager) has sat down with your mentee and clearly explained what's at stake and that it's the mentee's responsibility to do something about their Inadequate performance.

This sounds obvious but if the member of staff feels they learnt everything they'll ever need to know about teaching 20 years ago, then maybe they haven't been keeping up with changes in the inspection regime and think that a Grade 4 is nothing to be worried about.

Very best


Mattias's picture

My suggestions.

1. Take notes when you have meetings with the person. If you are taking notes it means A) you can referens your notes when you revise what has been agreed upon and when following up on delivery and B) the person being coached will heed their manners because you might report on the persons willingness to co-operate.

2. If you want the person to change A) make sure they agree upon the change by makig sure they are involved in coming up with the idea and B) make sure you start small. Ex: "Can you give me a list with students and grades and your own comments on their progress and strengths/weaknesses".

If anything by doing this you will at least have done right by the person if the person do get fired.

Gabote's picture

Hello there;


To start with Im not a teacher; however I have a great amount of background in different fields these are from logistics all the way to cleaning services and medical assistance.

The reason I say this is because I have seen many things and as any manager heard every story. What I have learned is that the resistance of a member of your team whether is related to you directly or indirectly starts with the way you approach it. That is the starting point of any of these situations " a challenge". But for any reason you should approach it the best way possible. Both of you are teachers one way or another. Every manager or supervisor is a teacher one way or another. So, my suggestion is to start this realtionship with a big smile in a very calm place with a cup of coffee or something nice to eat, and then introduce the issues you are going thru by asking:


What do you think is our situation at.....?

What are your thoughts on the progress?

Don't cut in and argue, don't interrupt any thoughts coming from that person,so that you get to listen their thoughts and backgrounds. The expression of ideas need to be shared and work from that point.

then after that listening session, ask: What can you do to help us create a better scenarios that can make us more successful?


then invite them to sit down and write her ideas. Once you have done that enter a smart constructive meeting where she defends every point. And then ask a time specific for every idea, meaning to say a plan of every idea bind to time and scores to suggest a goal of success. Then work from there.

In this stage you can manage and make them responsible since it is by all means their idea. then create a SMART GOAL (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time - bound) so that you can set a reachable goal and specifics on anything... Doing this can scalate to better since you can start increasing those goals by week. Ask the person to sign a personal contract with you where you write down this ideas bound to a time and score, then check on progress every week. Watch the results!!


firing must be the last thing you should do. An experience person is hard to find. Resistance is because they have done it that way for many years and they have a basis for being that way. That is old news to you, but you should not say that it is wrong. Keep it to yourself!!

I can give you a bad example: You cannot tell a parent of a 10 years old how to be a parent to that 10 years old, when that parent has done it for 10 years straight!! And because they know their things better than you do... Sounds familiar?

Hope these suggestions help. If you need to involve a large group on this... Order something that everyone would like to eat and then prepare for a fantastic meeting to enter discussion of OLD SCHOOL ideas and thoughts and request new ideas and thoughts then compared both and repeat what is above.

and a small suggestion: read Finance... the result of any operation to be successful has to have an "OK, let's go" from every shareholder. All these apply in live as we know it

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