Leadership Tip

How to manage someone you don't like

If you’re like most leaders, you probably gravitate towards direct reports who act nice and don’t deliver bad news. But it’s often those who provoke or challenge you - the people you like less - who prompt new insights and help propel the group to success. When you dislike an employee you might - consciously or not - mismanage him or her, treat them unfairly, or fail to see the real benefit they can deliver. To get the most out of someone you don’t like:

  1. Learn how to handle your frustration. Don’t let your distaste show. Everyone wants their boss to like them, and your employee might presume that any disapproval has to do with his or her performance. Remain fair, impartial, and composed.
     
  2. Check your bias. If you’re having trouble being fair, seek counsel from another manager who is familiar with the employee’s work. Ask whether your evaluation matches the outsider’s.
     
  3. Keep an open mind. It might help to spend more time with the problem employee, perhaps by collaborating on a difficult task. Remember that perspectives change, and your favourite employee today might become your least favourite tomorrow.

The above leadership tip...
was sent in response to a question from a participant on our 10/10 leadership development and mentoring programme and adapted from How to Manage Someone You Don’t Like by Amy Gallo. Whether you're a first time manager or an experienced leader, straightforward, practical advice on best practice is hard to find. Until now. To find out how you, your team or your organisation can benefit, please join us on our next complimentary webinar or contact us.

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