Ninety-three percent of employees work with politically connected coworkers whose bad behavior or chronic poor performance should—but doesn’t—make them a target for termination, according to a VitalSmarts ( www.vitalsmarts.com ) online research poll.
Some tips for effectively confronting them:
Communicate respect. Communicating respect in the first 30 seconds helps others feel safe, which will help them listen to you.
Lead with facts. Replace, “I think you are rude to me in staff meetings” with, “In our last staff meeting, you cut me off when I was speaking and then rolled your eyes.”
Share natural consequences. For example, “I’ve heard you expressing frustration that people aren’t friendly to you. I think I know some reasons why and would be willing to share them if you’d like.”
Invite dialogue. Remember you are probably partly wrong about how you see things. After sharing your concerns, encourage the other person to share his or hers—and even to show you where you are wrong.
Hold the boss accountable. If the crucial confrontation fails, and if the situation is affecting the staff negatively, consider taking it to the manager. Use these same steps to help the manager see that he or she needs to deal with this errant employee.