Leadership qualities are being demanded of all managers today. Taking tough decisions and handling difficult situations are very much part of any leadership role. Leadership is very much about doing the right things – not just doing things right.
On our leadership & management training programmes we often coach and encourage managers to adopt our simple to follow and easy to use 5 Point Plan. This plan is especially useful in dealing with those tricky employee situations when tackling conduct and capability issues. However the plan is also helpful to all employees as it can be adapted to deal with customer service issues such as customer complaints.
Here’s the plan that we recommend:
- Research and investigate. Make sure you obtain as many facts as you can. Separate fact from fiction. Be wary of hearsay.
- Be reasonable. Ask yourself if there are any other mitigating circumstances to be taken into account. There are usually two sides to most stories.
- Focus on the issue not the person. Distance yourself from any conscious or unconscious bias that you may have by remaining as objective as you can.
- Be able to justify your decision. Ask yourself could you defend your decision under scrutiny or an appeal or at a tribunal. Always make sure polices and processes are followed correctly.
- Communicate your decision effectively. Make sure all parties are clear about the outcome and know what the next steps are. Don’t make assumptions that everything has been understood.
We believe following our plan will help managers become better leaders by giving them more confidence to tackle tricky and difficult issues. Doing the right things is not always easy. However, using our plan will provide increased confidence as well as guidance to enable managers to do what needs to be done in a professional and ethical way.