Category Archives: Culture

Coaching a Problem Employee

First published 02/05/2010 on Associated Content/Yahoo


What is the difference between coaching someone and supervising someone? Coaches motivate, teach, inspire, encourage and challenge their staff. Supervisors are often seen as someone with authority over you, interfering and often remote. “Coaching” is preferred over “Supervising”. A coach should consider the reasons behind the poor performance or behavior before approaching the employee. The recommended process for coaching included five basic steps: State, Wait, Remind, Ask and Agree.

Step 1:

State the problem to the employee.

Do not approach the employee while you are upset or unprepared for the conversation. Accusations and condemnations will not give you the results you need. If the employee was late, simply state, “I noticed you were 15 minutes late this morning.”

Step 2:

Wait for a response from the employee.

The key here is to listen to the person without interrupting them. Let them give you their explanation, reasons or excuses, regardless of how silly and off tract they appear to you. Do not speak until the person stops speaking. They may say something as easy as “I know” or their explanation may be a melodrama of about five minutes long.

Step 3:

Remind the employee of the organizational goals.

Tell the employee why it is important that everyone work within the company policies. You can say something such as, “It is important that you be here on time. You are part of an important team that needs you here on time everyday. When you are not here on time, it slows down the rest of the team and things are not accomplished in a timely manner.” Be aware of going off track and stick with the planned statement to prevent the topic from wandering.

Step 4:

Ask the employee to provide a solution specific to the problem being discussed.

This may take some patience…but stick with the topic and gently ask the worker “What can you do to solve this problem?” Give them time to think of a solution, being careful not to interrupt them or let them walk away. Once they walk away, the solution will still be missing and the behavior may very well continue.

Step 5:

Agree on a solution with the employee. Do not terminate the conversation until a solution is agreed between you and the worker. Summarize the conversation. Repeat the observed behavior, state the agreed upon solution and don’t forget to tell the person thank you for their cooperation. If the behavior continues, you may need to have the conversation again, and then include as part of your final step, any disciplinary actions the company may take against the employee.


The key points to remember when coaching anyone is to stay on track, don’t discuss any other problem except the one you are prepared to talk about and listen politely while allowing the employee to think of a solution. Don’t forget to follow up with the employee in a day or two to see how they are doing.


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15 Indications You May Be a Micro Manager.

Micromanaging is a management style where the manager of a fully competent team spends time trying to control the details of the work being done by the competent staff, rather than focusing on the tactical responsibilities of the office. Though there are times all managers must dig into the details of an assignment to verify the work is being done properly, excessive detail concern may be a sign of micro managing. This type of micro management style may lead to unhappy and unfulfilled staff members and a decrease in quality work. Here is a list of things you should watch for if you have been told you are a difficult manager with micro managing tendencies.

  1. You believe that being a manager means you must have more knowledge and skills than your subordinates.
  2. You believe you can perform all the tasks assigned to your staff better than they can.
  3. You believed deadlines, quality, responsibility and performance are more important to you then they are to your staff.
  4. You believed it is more effective for you to do a task than it would be to assign the task to a staff member. Liability for an incomplete project is always a key concern.
  5. You can always find something wrong with what a staff member has completed and you tend to suffer from a “red pen” syndrome.
  6. You believe that unlike everyone you work with, you never make mistakes and your work is always better than anyone else could do.
  7. You don’t allow your staff to learn from their own mistakes as you usually take over when a project is not going well.
  8. You tend to spend too much time overseeing simple projects in fear that they will not be done “your way”.
  9. You are “overworked” while your staff is looking for projects to do.
  10. You are the first one in the office and the last one to go home – always.
  11. Even on vacation or when you are at home sick, you call the office twice a day (or more) to make sure everything is okay.
  12. Your team appears to have very little initiative and will not take on new projects without asking you first.
  13. Your staff is afraid they will fail or will do something incorrectly and therefore they take a great deal of time to complete even the simplest tasks.
  14. Your workers feel unmotivated, depressed and underappreciated.
  15. You have been called controlling, judgmental, doctorial or untrusting by family and friends (and sometimes by brave co-workers).

If you agree whole-heartedly to many of the above statements, you may be guilty of micromanaging. There are many things you can do to relinquish your unyielding hold on each project and to allow your staff to grow in confidence and abilities.

  • Ask your family and friends their opinions of your communication style.
  • Discuss your style with your manager or another supervisor and get their feed back as to how you run your office.
  • Something as simple as asking a person to do something and not telling them to do a task may break that hold you have on being in charge at all costs. Give suggestions, not just orders.
  • Leave on time at least once a week.
  • Be the first one out the door at least one a month.
  • Think less about “how” a task is done and concentrate more on the finished product instead. Do not be so quick to judge the finished project.

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Violence in American Cities

FBI List of 10 Top Violent Cities of 2016

While surfing on the web today, I came across an article showing the 10 most dangerous cities in the United States of America. I was surprised at some of the cities included on the list so I decided I will share the information with others…and see if they are surprised too. The list rated the cities as to the average number of violent crimes per 10,000 people. So if the city had less than 10,000 people, that city was not included in the list of violent crime averages. Here are the names of the top ten cities and the average number of violent crimes recorded per a population of 10,000 during 2016, as listed by the FBI.

  1. St. Louis, MO                     88.1
  2. Memphis, TN                     84.2
  3. Detroit, MI                         83.4
  4. Birmingham, AL                82.8
  5. Rockford, IL                       76.3
  6. Baltimore, MD                  67.7
  7. Stockton, CA                      67.4
  8. Milwaukee, WI                  65.3
  9. Cleveland, OH                   61.5
  10. Hartford, CT                      55.8

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