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Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others by Tacy M. Byham, Richard S. Wellins

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Your First Leadership Job

imgMastery and Leadership Skills16 Handling Difficult Employee SituationsFocus on the Behavior, Not the Person

Pre:Think

When was the last time you became angry (or hurt, or confused) by something someone did or said? What went wrong? How did it resolve? To whom did you turn for advice? What do you wish you had done differently?

Evan had recently taken on the leadership role of a 12-person call center after working as a team member for three years.

One of his newer direct reports, Judy, worked on scheduling appointments for the sales force. While she had started her job with abundant enthusiasm, she soon fell into a pattern of poor work habits, either coming in late or claiming sick days that she had already used up.

Evan was hesitant to confront Judy. All of his other team members were above-average performers, and he had yet to have a discussion with anyone regarding performance issues. After a month or so, he began getting complaints from his other team members about Judy. Not only was she not carrying her weight, they said, but she was bringing down the entire team's performance levels. Evan wisely sought advice from his manager, who encouraged him to take action and helped him plan the discussion. While not easy, Evan's task was relatively straightforward: He had to make Judy see that she needed to start turning around her performance or leave.

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