New article: Managing personality conflicts


MANAGING PERSONALITY CONFLICTS AND NEGATIVE ATTITUDES IN THE WORKPLACE

Gregory P. Smith

They�re here, there, everywhere.  They upset managers and fellow employees–even themselves.  Who are �they?�  If you haven�t already guessed, �they� are the negative employees most people encounter in the workforce at some point.  If not carefully managed, they can suck the energy out of your business and your personal life.

What is a negative employee?  They are people with poisonous attitudes and behavior patterns who negatively influence the people around them.  Negative workers come is various shapes and sizes. Sometimes they spread rumors, gossip about coworkers, or bad mouth their superiors to their faces and behind their backs.  Basically, they are unhappy people who resist the positive efforts of others.

Managers often hesitate to terminate them if they are productive or have special skills/experience.   Sometimes managers do not understand the amount of stress a negative employee creates.  It may be hard to accept a negative employee who did a good job did so at the expense of the productivity of others.  Yet, ignoring or tolerating the problems and atmosphere they create can easily and quickly result in dissatisfaction among other employees.  

What can a supervisor/manager do when faced with this unpleasant dilemma? 

First, analyze the situation. How much does the person contribute to the overall success of the office/department/business?  How much do they contribute to creating personality conflicts with other employees?  How does that unhappiness translate into reduced productivity and enthusiasm?  How much of your time as a manager are you using to control the situation?  What are the legal ramifications (if any) of discharging the employee?   

Second, plan a course of action.  If you decide to try to salvage the employee, consider these tips:

Discuss the situation with the employee.  They will probably profess ignorance of any problems, acknowledge the situation but blame the problems on others, or become defiant and try to play mind games with you.  The employee may also voice his or her own complaints.

Evaluate the employee�s position.  Even a person with a negative attitude can have a legitimate complaint.  Evaluate not only the employee�s response to your remarks but whether the employee has legitimate concerns you need to consider.  If the complaint is the basis of the person�s negative attitude/behavior, resolving it should result in a more positive situation.  Often, however, the complaint is either a smoke screen for the employee�s behavior or has resulted from the person�s own negativity. 

Focus on a behavior you want changed, not an attitude.  Accept the reality you may not be able to remake the person into an ideal employee, even if you are a great manager.  However, you can specify an action or goal for the employee, and then follow through on the employee�s progress.  Once you see improvement, focus on another area.  Always, of course, acknowledge the employee�s efforts.

Use personality profiles and assessments. Many times, personality conflicts are the result of misunderstandings that build up over time. Each individual has a different personality style and frequently, different personality styles clash with others. A team building session can help co-workers understand and appreciate each other in a new way. Packaged along with a personality profile or an individual behavior assessment, it can be a powerful tool in reducing conflict and improving communication between workers.

Consider assignments that will isolate the person from other employees and limit contact.  Most work situations require cooperation and teamwork that make this technique unworkable, but it may be feasible in some cases.  You may even encounter an employee who prefers isolation and is less negative when working alone.  Unfortunately, negative employees often seek out fellow workers–either to complain about their job/boss/life in general, or to blame other employees as the source of their unhappiness.

Set a limit and stick with it.  Managers have adopted the �three strikes and you�re out� rule.  Make the employee aware of the limits, tell them when they �strike� and remind them when they have only one �strike� left.

Third, terminate the employee.  If all else fails and the negative employee ignores your warnings and refuses to cooperate, it is time to consider termination.  Once you decide this is the proper course, take action.   Otherwise, you risk losing the respect and confidence from your employees.  Before termination, discuss the situation with a human resource professional and seek legal counsel accordingly.

Free by E-mail: If you would like a free subscription to our newsletter, please E-mail us the word �Navigator� to navigator@chartcourse.com.

Greg Smith helps create high performance organizations that attract, keep, and motivate their workforce.  He speaks at conferences and conducts training programs worldwide. He has helped business owners reduce employee turnover, increase sales, and deliver better customer service. He is also the author of eight books including 401 Proven Ways to Retain Your Best Employees. For more information, visit http://www.chartcourse.com or call (800) 821-2487 or (770) 860-9464.

==========================
Gregory P. Smith
President
Chart Your Course International

"We show managers how to create high performance
organizations that attract, keep, and motivate their workforce"

Author of:
401 Proven Ways to Retain Your Best Employees.

www.401ProvenWays.com

Phone: (770) 860-9464
http://www.ChartCourse.com
http://www.HighRetention.com
http://www.BehaviorProfile.com

"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your
strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender,
that is strength" – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Managing Talent and Driving High Performance

Talent management has as its ultimate goal creating a work environment
that finds the best talent affordable . . .allows good employees to stay
as long as possible, and encourages mismatched employees to leave sooner
or find more compatible jobs elsewhere.

In my years as a consultant, I have identified eight basic elements
essential to creating a high performance organization. While each one,
like the sails of a ship, can harness the power of the wind, all eight
are needed. A sail not properly set or missing hinders the progress of
the ship and causes frustration among the crewmembers.

Number 1–A Clear Sense of Direction and Purpose.
Everyone wants to be paid for what they do, but good employees want to be
part of an organization that stands for something and gives them personal
fulfillment and meaning. When an organization has a clear sense of
direction and purpose, people are willing to give more. Many
organizations are now allowing their employees to donate time to
non-profit organizations, or spend their off work hours building houses
for Habitat for Humanity.

Number 2–Caring Management. Interpersonal skills are an essential
element of the high-retention culture. People want to feel management
cares and is concerned for them as individuals. Yet, poor "soft skills"
are one of the biggest factors that drive people away.

Number 3–Flexible Benefits and Schedules Adapted to the Needs of the
Individual. In today's workplace, flexibility rules. One-size-fits-all
approaches to benefits have long since lost their effectiveness. Workers
will migrate to a company whose benefit packages and schedules help them
meet the demands of their lives, whether they are single parents, adults
who care for aging parents, older workers, younger workers, part-time
workers, or telecommuters.

Number 4–Open Communication. In our technological age, people have a
large appetite for information, and they want it instantly.
High-retention workplaces place high priority on delivering the right
information to the right people at the right time using the right
methodology. Companies that leave employees in the dark risk damaging
morale and motivation–not to mention compromising their ability to make
a quick course change in the marketplace.

Number 5–A Charged Work Environment. People want to enjoy their work.
They shun boring, bureaucratic, lifeless work environments. That is why
high performance workplaces do not bother with the traditional ways of
doing things. They find new ways to make work mentally engaging and
physically energizing. They also ask for, listen to, and implement the
ideas and suggestions of those who work for them.

Number 6–Performance Management. It is becoming increasingly more
difficult to find competent, motivated workers who have good attitudes
and work ethics. Because of this, knowing how to manage performance is
important. Performance management includes a new set of skills, tools,
techniques, and processes to align an individual and his or her behavior
with the goals of the business enterprise.

Number 7–Reward and Recognition. All humans need to feel appreciated.
Reward and recognition programs help meet that need. A workplace that
rewards and recognizes people builds higher productivity and loyalty, and
can create consequences for desired behavior that leads to organizational
success.

Number 8–Training and Development. Many workers just want a paycheck,
but the best workers want opportunity.
They want to develop their skills and potential and enhance their ability
to contribute and succeed. Training and development gives people greater
control and ownership over their jobs, making them capable of taking care
of customers and creating better management-employee relationships.

Greg Smith
www.chartcourse.com

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Additional Resources Just for You:

Here Today Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High-Turnover
to High Retention http://www.chartcourse.com/HereTodayHereTomorrow.htm

Can You Teach an Anthill to Fetch?

Once in awhile a really special book is published
that deserves our attention. ‘Teaching an Anthill
to Fetch’ by Stephen James Joyce, is one of those
books.

What if you could significantly improve the
collaboration and cooperation around you –
wouldn’t it be great? Think how much easier your
personal and professional life would be when you
could rely on the support and help of everyone.

Packed with stories that will change the way you
look at life, ‘Teaching an Anthill to Fetch’ is an
easy read, full of important insights.
http://www.anthillbook.com/bonuspage.htm

and there’s more

Stephen’s business colleagues feel strongly that
this is an important book. So strongly, that they
have provided a collection of bonus gifts worth
$627 as a bribe. But this offer is only available
today. For details go to:
http://www.anthillbook.com/bonuspage.htm

‘Teaching an Anthill to Fetch’ is about the
exciting new concept of collaborative intelligence
and has been described as one of the most
important books to be published this year. Having
read it, I whole-heartedly agree.

Please take a minute out of your busy schedule and
visit this link:
http://www.anthillbook.com/bonuspage.htm

I promise you, you will be very glad you did.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Smith
http://www.chartcourse.com
770-860-9464

P.S. Remember this offer is only available today
and only by responding to this letter.

P.P.S. For what you would spend on a couple of
magazines this little gem of a book you can
receive $657 worth of products (downloaded
immediately) AND a critically acclaimed book
delivered to your door

But Don’t Take Our Word For it Here is What People
Are Saying About This Book…

Navigator Newsletter #123
#########################################
Greg Smith, "Captain of the Ship," publishes the
Navigator Newsletter and President of Chart Your
Course International. "We help businesses create
GREAT places to work." Contact: 770-860-9464

To SUBSCRIBE to this newsletter please go to:
http://www.chartcourse.com/emailnavnews.htm

See bottom of newsletter to unsubscribe.
#########################################
QUOTES WORTH REMEMBERING

"Twenty years from now you will be more
disappointed by the things that you didn't do than
by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade
winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

–Mark Twain

Check these sailing photos out.
http://www.chartcourse.com/photos_2004.html
#########################################
LAST WEEK TO SIGN UP FOR THE EMPLOYEE RETENTION
AND JOB SATISFACTION INSTITUTE
July 26, 2007
Atlanta

There are a few seats remaining for our all day
Employee Retention Institute taking place in
Atlanta on Thursday, July 26. In addition to the
valuable information you receive, you will also
get over $850 of free bonuses.

P.S. For those of you coming to Atlanta, we will
meet at Morton's Steakhouse for dinner on July 26
(Not hosted).

Register online or call us at 770-860-9464

http://www.chartcourse.com/Employee-Retention-Workshop.html
#########################################
SAS — "TOP 100 BEST COMPANIES TO WORK FOR"

Employee retention would not be an issue if all
companies treated their employees as well as this
company. SAS Institute Inc. is a privately held
software company located in North Carolina's
Research Triangle Park.

SAS resembles a college campus more than a
software development company. Everything from the
baby grand piano in the company cafeteria, to the
giant outdoor chess board, and resident artists
gives clear indication this company is a world
apart. They have made Fortune magazine's "Top 100
Best Companies to Work For," for several years
running.

Many people say working at SAS is like working
with your family. Their 5000+ employees find SAS
to be a positive environment focusing on
creativity and innovation. In some cases, SAS
becomes the closest thing to a "real family" than
many people have experienced at home.
Turnover hovers around 3.7 percent and has never
exceeded 5 percent in its twenty years of
existence.

Article continued on website:
http://www.chartcourse.com/article_SAS.html
#########################################
SPECIAL SALE!
THE ART OF MANAGING YOUR TIME AND YOUR LIFE

Success begins with a goal, a plan, and a process
to follow. This audio program is my philosophy
about setting goals, managing your time, and
identifying your strengths that will lead to long-
term success both at work and at home.

This time management program is based on my model
for success. It is the result of 30 years of
experience and research. I have identified the key
patterns that lead to success–what works and what
does not. Benefit from proven lessons learned and
create your roadmap for successful living.

Normally the CD is $29.95. Now on sale for $19.95.
The CD comes with six special reports and
assessments.

http://www.chartcourse.com/timeorderform.html
#########################################
CONDUCTING EXIT INTERVIEWS

The information obtained during an exit interview
is an important part of an effective retention
strategy. Consider including some or all of the
following questions.

About the Organization:

–I had potential for advancing my career.
–My work was challenging.
–My department/unit worked as a team.
–I was able to have a balance between work and my
family needs.
–I had sufficient work flexibility at my job.
–My contributions were rewarded and recognized.

The complete list of Exit Interview questions is
in my new book, "401 Proven Ways to Retain Your
Best Employees"

http://www.chartcourse.com/401-provenways.html
#########################################
360-DEGREE FEEDBACK ASSESSMENTS
360 feedback assessments are powerful tools for
helping individuals improve, grow, and develop
their leadership and interpersonal skills. Our
assessment gathers information from up to 14
people about an individual's performance as seen
by his/her boss, self, peers, direct reports, and
customers.

http://www.chartcourse.com/360assessment.html

Here is a great clip from the Today Show about what it is like working for Google.
Google was listed as the No #1 “Best Place to Work.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6h-gm01Fb0

 

Paper Industry Fears Worker Shortage
WMTW – Auburn,ME,USA
WATERVILLE, Maine — Despite a major decline over the past two decades, Maine’s paper industry remains the largest manufacturing sector in the state.
See all stories on this topic

Mount Magnet to air worries about social worker shortage
ABC Regional Online – Australia
The Shire of Mount Magnet will today discuss its concerns about a lack of Western Australian Government social workers with the Department for Community
See all stories on this topic

Late and Biased, But Otherwise Great
WOWK – Huntington,WV,USA
Some see the worker shortage as a mystery. In West Virginia the median income is only about $33000, while some of the mine operators are offering up to
See all stories on this topic

Universities address worker shortage
Auckland University of Technology – Auckland,New Zealand
New Zealand universities have taken a step towards addressing the nation’s employee shortage with a targeted online search for workers.
See all stories on this topic

Forbes: “Prodigal Son, Harsh Manglik – The Future Is Being Designed”
By Dave Mendoza
As he checks in for a flight to Delhi, a route he now travels more than the San Francisco-to-LA trek of his past, the lights overhead flicker erratically throughout the airport, a symptom of this boomtown’s chronic power shortage.
Six Degrees – Recruitment Blog… – http://sixdegreesfromdave.com

MANAGING PERSONALITY CONFLICTS AND NEGATIVE ATTITUDES IN THE WORKPLACE

Gregory P. Smith

They're here, there, everywhere. They upset managers and fellow
employees–even themselves. Who are "they?" If you haven't already
guessed, "they" are the negative employees most people encounter in the
workforce at some point. If not carefully managed, they can suck the
energy out of your business and your personal life.

What is a negative employee? They are people with poisonous attitudes
and behavior patterns who negatively influence the people around them.
Negative workers come is various shapes and sizes. Sometimes they spread
rumors, gossip about coworkers, or bad mouth their superiors to their
faces and behind their backs. Basically, they are unhappy people who
resist the positive efforts of others.

Managers often hesitate to terminate them if they are productive or have
special skills/experience. Sometimes managers do not understand the
amount of stress a negative employee creates. It may be hard to accept a
negative employee who did a good job did so at the expense of the
productivity of others. Yet, ignoring or tolerating the problems and
atmosphere they create can easily and quickly result in dissatisfaction
among other employees.

What can a supervisor/manager do when faced with this unpleasant dilemma?

First, analyze the situation. How much does the person contribute to the
overall success of the office/department/business? How much do they
contribute to creating personality conflicts with other employees? How
does that unhappiness translate into reduced productivity and enthusiasm?
How much of your time as a manager are you using to control the
situation? What are the legal ramifications (if any) of discharging the
employee?

Second, plan a course of action. If you decide to try to salvage the
employee, consider these tips:

Discuss the situation with the employee. They will probably profess
ignorance of any problems, acknowledge the situation but blame the
problems on others, or become defiant and try to play mind games with
you. The employee may also voice his or her own complaints.

Evaluate the employee's position. Even a person with a negative attitude
can have a legitimate complaint. Evaluate not only the employee's
response to your remarks but whether the employee has legitimate concerns
you need to consider. If the complaint is the basis of the person's
negative attitude/behavior, resolving it should result in a more positive
situation. Often, however, the complaint is either a smoke screen for
the employee's behavior or has resulted from the person's own negativity.

Focus on a behavior you want changed, not an attitude. Accept the
reality you may not be able to remake the person into an ideal employee,
even if you are a great manager. However, you can specify an action or
goal for the employee, and then follow through on the employee's
progress. Once you see improvement, focus on another area. Always, of
course, acknowledge the employee's efforts.

Use personality profiles and assessments. Many times, personality
conflicts are the result of misunderstandings that build up over time.
Each individual has a different personality style and frequently,
different personality styles clash with others. A team building session
can help co-workers understand and appreciate each other in a new way.
Packaged along with a personality profile or an individual behavior
assessment, it can be a powerful tool in reducing conflict and improving
communication between workers.

Consider assignments that will isolate the person from other employees
and limit contact. Most work situations require cooperation and teamwork
that make this technique unworkable, but it may be feasible in some
cases. You may even encounter an employee who prefers isolation and is
less negative when working alone. Unfortunately, negative employees
often seek out fellow workers–either to complain about their
job/boss/life in general, or to blame other employees as the source of
their unhappiness.

Set a limit and stick with it. Managers have adopted the "three strikes
and you're out" rule. Make the employee aware of the limits, tell them
when they "strike" and remind them when they have only one "strike" left.

Third, terminate the employee. If all else fails and the negative
employee ignores your warnings and refuses to cooperate, it is time to
consider termination. Once you decide this is the proper course, take
action. Otherwise, you risk losing the respect and confidence from your
employees. Before termination, discuss the situation with a human
resource professional and seek legal counsel accordingly.

OTHER RESOURCES:

Free Newsletter and Seven Reports
http://www.chartcourse.com/emailnavnews.htm

Personality Assessments and Personality Profiles
http://www.chartcourse.com/tti-sample-reports.html

Conflict Management & Teambuilding Exercises
http://www.chartcourse.com/book_energizers.html

Free by E-mail: If you would like a free subscription to our newsletter,
please E-mail us the word "Navigator" to navigator@chartcourse.com.

Greg Smith helps create high performance organizations that attract,
keep, and motivate their workforce. He speaks at conferences and
conducts training programs worldwide. He has helped business owners
reduce employee turnover, increase sales, and deliver better customer
service. He is also the author of eight books including 401 Proven Ways
to Retain Your Best Employees. For more information, visit
http://www.chartcourse.com or call (800) 821-2487 or (770) 860-9464.

HIRING SUCCESS EACH AND EVERY TIME

More businesses are using assessments and profiles to identify, hire, and
promote the right people for the right jobs. Identify the behaviors and
traits needed for success and high retention.

More information:
http://www.behaviorprofile.com

"Management is a 8:00 to 5:00 obligation, but LEADERSHIP is a 24
hour-a-day responsibility."

-Keynotes
-Consulting
-Training programs
-Hiring assessments

Greg's new book:
401 Proven Ways to Retain Your Best Employees
http://www.401-provenways.html

Blog site: http://chartcourse.blogspot.com

Worker Shortage Posts

Google News Alert for: worker shortage

US tech sector eyes immigration bill revival, cites worker shortage
Channel News Asia – Singapore
WASHINGTON : US high-tech industry leaders say they will maintain a fight in Congress to address what they claim is a critical shortage of skilled workers,
See all stories on this topic

Worker shortage felt throughout British Columbia
Journal of Commerce – Burnaby,BC,Canada
Labour shortages are a major factor influencing business decisions in many industries throughout central and northern British Columbia.
See all stories on this topic

Labour shortage hits Marlborough winegrowers
Stuff.co.nz – Wellington,New Zealand
The high seasonal-worker turnover was because some came to the end of their work permits and some found the physical work too hard.
See all stories on this topic

CUBA: Women Combating Shortage of Decent Housing
Inter Press Service (subscription) – Rome,Italy
Official figures reflect a housing shortage of 500000 units in this Caribbean island nation of 11.2 million. But 15 percent of urban dwellings and 38
See all stories on this topic

Economist: Worker shortage would imperil state tourism
Rocky Mountain News – Denver,CO,USA
By Joanne Kelley, Rocky Mountain News Economist Tucker Hart Adams cautioned that a failure to provide businesses with a way to employ more legal guest
See all stories on this topic

Skills shortage reaching critical stage
New Zealand Herald – New Zealand
That concern, while still high, seemed to have stabilised at the same time as the skilled worker shortage escalated, he said. Despite that, New Zealand was
See all stories on this topic

Alarm Bells Ringing Over Skills Shortage — Survey
Scoop.co.nz – New Zealand
But the concern, while still high, seems to have stabilised at the same time as the skilled worker shortage has escalated.” New Zealand was still in the top
See all stories on this topic

Worker shortage takes toll on crops
Seattle Times – United States
By Tri-City Herald KENNEWICK — A labor shortage that hurt Washington asparagus growers will likely continue as the agriculture industry moves into its
See all stories on this topic

Google Blogs Alert for: worker shortage

Why Employers Should Be Celebrating This 4th of July
By Carleen MacKay
The Bureau of Labor Statistics makes the case that there will be a worker shortage of nearly 10 million people by 2010 as mature workers continue to exit the workforce. Others have stated that recruiting talent from all generations is
Spherion Career Blog – The Big Time – http://www.spherion.com/careerblog/

Immigration
The shortage points to the critical need for a legal guest-worker program and a secure ID system to verify those workers. Last fall, a San Luis Valley spinach grower offered $400 a day to help harvest his crop and got no takers,
John Orr: 2008 Presidential Election – http://radio.weblogs.com/0101170/categories/2008presidentialelection/

Out of Africa
By khowley@reason.com (Kerry Howley)
proposed a simple solution to the US nursing shortage: lift the cap on nursing visas. The proposal fizzled, but not before critics charged that such a policy would be cruel and irresponsible. A news story in The New York Times asserted
Reason Magazine – All Reason… – http://www.reason.com/allarticles