Dilemma of the difficult employee

In Bloomberg Businessweek, Pat Lencioni writes that a difficult employee can lead a manager to think: Should I continue to tolerate this person or let them go?

But Lencioni said the real question should be: Have I done everything I can to help the difficult employee?

What managers need to do is simply to sit down with the difficult employee and tell them that their behavior is unacceptable.

Three things could happen from being direct: 1) The employee changes. 2) The employee leaves. 3) The employee does not change or leave and the manager needs to fire him.


Lencioni said the best outcome of directness is showing the rest of the organization’s employees that there are standards for behavior that will be upheld.

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