As leaders, we know that not every employee is “on board” with our thoughts or direction. This realization oftentimes leaves us attempting to correct the employee through typical ways such as:

  1. Demanding it.
  2. Caving to their ideas or decisions.
  3. Disregarding the difficult employee and all of their “difficultness” that comes along with them.

So let me be candid – I need you to change your perspective. The mindset shift needs to go from “How do I gain ground?” to “How do I find common ground?”. To reiterate, I am challenging you to lean in and seek to find common ground with your difficult employees. I am emphatically pleading with you as a leader to take this challenge head on! Warning: this can be intimidating and may not always create the perfect solution, especially with your toxic employees.

By seeking common ground with your employees, you are doing a couple of different things. First, you are breaking down barriers that have existed among your staff. If you were an employee, wouldn’t you want to work harder for a leader that seeks to understand and manage you as an individual rather than just another “staff member”?

The second thing you are doing is creating an office atmosphere that both you and your employees will want to work in. With people united on common ground, the work place is much more engaged, focused, and accountable.

So how do you seek to find common ground with a difficult employee? The solution is simple – you have a conversation. At our People Centric Management Seminar on Friday, February 23rd, one of the things we can help you do is understand best practices for having these conversations. It is an awesome day full of helpful insights that leaders can tangibly take with them and immediately implement.