Has one of your employees made you angry, frustrated, or worried recently? Probably the answer is yes. We frequently respond emotionally to employee behavior; it's part of being human and working together.
When people depend on one another to get work accomplished, there will be friction. Employees will occasionally do something wrong, or won't get something done on time, or will somehow drop the ball. When it happens, you feel "something" - anger, disappointment, frustration - and you often feel it strongly.
If you and your employee can talk about what happened in a way which resolves the problem, both of you will have learned something useful about the job and each other. The process contributes to greater team work.
If the employee has the skills to do the job, has performed well in the past, but now isn't doing well, and if your management efforts don't bring about a sustained improvement, you probably have an employee with a personal problem. The troubles may be marital, financial, alcohol or drug-related, or perhaps they stem from a serious emotional conflict.
The decline has little to do with your skill as a manager. If the employee requires special help, even the best manager can't solve the employee's problem.
Your other problem is what happens to you. Your feelings and responses to the employee are very much "your" problem. If you don't believe it, think back to the employee who often made you feel upset, angry, puzzled, guilty, frustrated, fearful or inadequate. You probably responded with the silent treatment, argued, threatened, pleaded, disciplined, counseled, or gave up (more than once). Ask yourself, “did I…”
Start with the right employee first - you: That’s right, you. Before you can effectively deal with those that report to you, you must be clear about your own feelings towards them. Depending on the level of tension and conflict between you and a troubled employee, seek assistance. Helping you is sometimes the essential first step towards helping your employee.
Essential Managers: Motivating People, Robert Heller and Tim Hindle, 1999, DK Publishing Merchandise Interesting, colorful little book for managers Ð part of a series.