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  • Here's the situation we've all seen.

  • You're sitting in a meeting at work; the conversation seems pretty normal.

  • But then, things get a little heated as people run into issues where they don't agree.

  • You notice but heyyou've seen this many times. It's normal.

  • Then, someone starts swearing and personally attacking the intelligence of one of your colleagues.

  • Let me be specific. Your colleague Jim says to another colleague Leonard,

  • That's a stupid idea Leo. Do you even realize what you're saying?

  • The people in the meeting look startled. Now, let's say you're the boss.

  • What do you do?

  • Welllet's start with what you don't do. Don't choose to do nothing.

  • That only encourages more bad behavior.

  • Also, don't choose to respond with similar bad behavior that is likely to cause real damage.

  • Instead, let me offer you an escalating series of options to consider.

  • First, if the behavior was bad but the context of your group is considered mildly deviant Instead of extremely deviant,

  • begin my simply shifting the focus away from the offender.

  • So if the bad vibe is between Jim and Leo. You turn to Sarah and say,

  • "Sarah, what about you? if we go this route, what are your concerns?"

  • Many times a simple diversion of this nature works very well.

  • However, if the bad behavior is repeated soon after, you have to speak up.

  • Again, if it’s not extreme, try addressing the group not the offender.

  • You might say, "okay guys, we're all getting a little heated. Let's keep it positive and stay on point."

  • Then, shift the focus to someone else.

  • Now, if Jim engages the same or similar behavior again.

  • You have to escalate. This time you have no choice but to call them out by name.

  • For example, you might politely say, "Jim, I said we're going to keep this positive, okay?"

  • At this point, you also need to talk to Jim offline because this type of behavior can't be allowed to continue.

  • Go see him, preferably right after the meeting.

  • When you do, cover these topics. State that you take issue with their behavior at the meeting.

  • Then, be very specific by describing the behavior in a nearly verbatim manner.

  • Then explain why this is an issue. And finally be very clear about your behavioral expectations moving forward.

  • Close by gaining their acknowledgement that they understand your expectations.

  • Dealing with aberrant behavior can be a challenge.

  • You have to know when and how to intervene without making matters worse.

  • Follow the process we just outlined and youll have a great chance to remove that behavior from your group.

  • So you can get back to being productive.

Here's the situation we've all seen.

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A2 US behavior bad behavior meeting offender bad leo

Offensive language | leadership | lynda.com

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    Go Tutor posted on 2015/05/06
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