I love this topic so much I wrote an entire book on it “Managing Annoying People: 7 Proven Tactics To Maximize Team Performance“. I’m Ilene Marcus and with 30 years experience leading large public organizations, I now speak, train and consult on building powerful engaged teams and managing annoying people who steal your energy and time. I help managers drive their agendas and bring focus and clarity back to their workplace.
Do you know what Team Stands for:
T – Together
E – Everybody
A – Annoys
M – Me
As COO of a $20 million special-needs school, I managed a team of educators. The school principal hid behind regulations whenever she didn’t want to do an assigned task. To combat this I would check the regulations and bring a copy with me to all meetings. Prior to employing the tactic of telling the team, my standard response went something like this: “Really? Because I don’t see it in the regulations.” I would bang my fist on the pile of papers next to me and then add for good measure, “As usual you are stating an extreme case. Who thinks this is an extreme case?”
A classic fight response, and the entire team would go on the defensive as I displayed my annoyance. Once I realized the impact of my conduct on the whole team, not just the intended recipient, I knew I needed a different tact. I started the next meeting by owning up to my behavior, opening with, “I have been annoyed at the slow pace of change and have lashed out at some of you. I am sorry. From today forward, this situation will be addressed by clarifying what is at stake if we do not change our behavior, and asking all of you, my senior team, to provide solutions to the issues raised. Would anyone like to add on to that or ask any questions?”
After that, the hallmarks of the meetings were cooperation, problem solving, and the team keeping me honest when I slipped back into banging on the regulations.
Contributor: Ilene Marcus | LinkedIn