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The New Manager's Template for Tough Conversations with Employees

Learn how to approach employees who are behaving in ways that prevent your team from success. Get 8 free scripts from a bestselling author and Chief Human Resources Officer so you can prepare a confident response to challenging behaviors.

When you sign up, you’ll receive 8 scripts Paul wrote so you can effectively manage the employee who…

  • Always disagrees with team members (The Attacker) 
  • Spends more time cracking jokes than completing tasks (The Comic)
  • Stops contributing to the company or performing his or her job (The Deserter)
  • Takes credit for work he or she didn’t do (The Limelight Seeker)
  • Seems distracted by an interest outside of work during business hours (The Moonlighter)
  • Refuses to do anything that isn’t in the job description (The Not-My-Jobber)
  • Feels slighted by the company for no apparent reason (The Bleeding Heart)
  • Complains about work woes constantly (The Complainer)

It’s never been easier to replace face-to-face communication with an email or text message. As tempting as it may be to distance yourself from topics like poor performance, habitual lateness, and sexually offensive or racist actions, managers who drag their feet in addressing the issues risk missing deadlines, losing out on bonuses, and even getting demoted or fired.

You can’t keep letting these issues slide… you need to have a personal talk with them. Set the stage for more productive and successful interactions with 8 FREE Scripts for Confronting Employees with Challenging Behaviors, your guide to managing the most common types of workplace conflict.

Here’s a sample of the scripts included inside this free download

A Script for Confronting the Bleeding Heart

HR Manager: Shannon, there’s something that I’ve got to bring to your attention. I don’t know if you realize it or not, but the only person you ever seem to complain about is Suzie. You typically open your conversation by saying, “Would you mind if I told you something that’s none of my business?” and then you launch into some form of criticism about Suzie—how she’s not completing her work on time, is wandering away from her desk, is being too social, or is otherwise performing at an unacceptable level.

From now on, if you ask me that question, the answer will be “no.” I won’t want to hear your tips about her problematic performance. Frankly, I don’t need you telling me how to manage my relationships with other staff members, and you and Suzie do separate jobs and hold different responsibilities in the group, so I see no need for your censure of her work or work habits.

And I have another piece of advice for you, Shannon: You need to come to terms with and get over the anger and resentment that you harbor toward her. I don’t know if you feel threatened by her for some reason or why she seems to get under your skin, but it’s obvious to me as an outsider, even if you aren’t aware of it. Why else would you only find fault with one person over and over again when I, as her supervisor, don’t find those faults?

I’m serious here: If you don’t find a way to get over your resentment, it will eat you up inside, and it may result in undoing your career here at our company. Please don’t put me in a position to have to have this type of discussion with you a second time, Shannon, because if we do, my response will be in a written rather than a verbal format. Am I clear?

Employee: Yes.

HR Manager: Good. Thank you very much.

Meet the Author

Paul Falcone is a Chief Human Resources Officer and the author of titles ranging from 2600 Effective Phrases for Performance Reviews to 96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire, and so much more.

Drawing on his experience in senior-level human resources positions at companies including Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, and Motion Picture & Television Fund, Falcone delivers the secrets behind finding the right hires, developing positive employee relationships, and being the best leader you can be for your team.

Don't wait until it's too late to use these scripts. Be prepared to address challenging situations head on.

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