Outmoan the moaners to tackle difficult employees

I was not surprised to see that the cost of managing awkward employees is so high (Personnel Today, 29 November). What did surprise me, though, was the advice that was given, as I think it could have been far more helpful.

It’s no good simply telling ‘the moaner’ that their atti-tude is unacceptable. First, they probably don’t realise they are doing it. Second, this response will often make their behaviour worse.

Strangely, one of the most effective ways of stopping someone from moaning is to behave even more negatively than they are.
If they look as though they are about to tell you why your idea won’t work, ask them to give you 10 reasons why. You will find they can’t.

Often, they need to learn how to set goals and work to targets. These people are motivated by solving problems and moving away from pain, which is a very different way of seeing the world. To them, the world is full of problems. If you tell them it isn’t, they will think you are unaware of the dangers or problems and feel it’s their responsibility to enlighten you for your own good. That’s one of the reasons they moan so much.

Nancy Slessenger
Managing director,
Vine House Essential

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