Ax Attitude Problems

A new attitude invariably creates a new result. That is why it is essential to identify those employees within your organization that have an attitude problem and correct it quickly.

Not only do they impact their own performance, but they suck the energy from everyone around them, too. Don’t doubt the power of one negative person’s toll on your entire team.

In order to prevent this grapevine effect, you must be proactive by addressing the issue—and you can do so in a non-threatening way.

Your conversation should ooze with respect but leave NO room for them to interpret that one more minute of their antics will be accepted.

Here’s a potential dialogue:

  • I’m so excited about where our team is going. Which says we’re going… with or without you.
  • I could be wrong, but my sense is that you don’t share that excitement, and that’s okay.
    You want to say that it’s only your sense, so the passive-aggressive person can’t fight with you. Low performers are almost always passive-aggressive. That’s how they manage to stay low performers–they don’t take in advice. If they want evidence, don’t go there. Just say you could be wrong. Make sure to say it’s okay without pausing! It keeps them from becoming defensive. Don’t let them get in and start to ask for info or incidences to back up your inference. The whole conversation shouldn’t take more than 15 seconds.
  • But if this isn’t your thing, you have to find your thing.

Then ask them to give you an answer within 24 hours about whether they want to be in fully– or if they want to pursue their passion elsewhere. Set a time for your next meeting. They must give you a commitment for a breakthrough before the 24 hours are up.

The under-performer will feel relieved at the end of your conversation. They can leave and save face. Your remaining team will also feel relieved. They no longer have to work alongside a co-worker that sucks their energy right out from under them.

The standards can once again be raised, and the people left will now rise to the challenge without hesitation.

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