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How To Deal With Touchy Employees

Being a manager can be difficult, especially if some members of your team are sensitive and cannot handle criticism. Learn how to deal with them here…

As a manager you probably know that amongst the many joys of your work is to find what behavioural pattern fits better each employee and to treat them accordingly. Bad managers fail to understand that employees are different people and thus need to be treated differently, for example, if you are a generally outgoing kind of person you may think that this behaviour is going to make you a favourite to all your employees, but is it really? Different people like different things and when it falls on your shoulders to inspire them and to make sure that they are doing a great job you may want to pay attention to these differences in characters.

See Also: How to be a Good Boss

The key then to being a great manager is being able to inspire trust in all of your employees and to have a meaningful relationship with all of them. Now, having a meaningful relationship can be tricky because not everyone will respond the same way to your feedback. Some employees will become more productive after negative feedback and some will work better after positive feedback, some will cherish your good words and others will distance themselves from you the minute you speak an ill word of their work. So, how does one go about dealing with employees who are touchy and who can’t handle criticism? The guide below will help you with just that, go through the tips listed below and give them a go. You’ll see that they’ll do wonders for touchy employees.

1. Change Your Approach

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Touchy people are usually very defensive and this is why they are very bad when offered criticism. In their effort to defend themselves they overdo it, resulting in them becoming aggressive or overtly sensitive. Accept that this can change and understand that what you can do is change the way in which you handle these matters.

Approach them in a friendly manner and make sure that you are honest in your intentions to teach them, avoid being sarcastic or trying to manipulate them into feeling guilty and you’ll see that they’ll be more accepting of your criticism.

2. Start With the Positives

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No one likes to be told that they’ve done something wrong and touchy people are more so. Touchy employees won’t be able to change their ways if they keep being told that they’re doing everything wrong so in order for them to be open you need to find one thing they did right and start the discussion with that.

This way they’ll be more willing to accept your criticism without turning things dramatic. Also, they’ll be more willing to understand where they were wrong and how to fix it.

3. Be Precise

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The reason why it’s so difficult to discuss things with touchy employees is because the moment you start saying something negative about their work they get into a denial mode and they won’t truly hear what you’re saying, so often you end up having a dramatic discussion with no potential of the employee fixing their mistakes because they weren’t really listening to what they’ve been doing wrong.

So, it’s important then that your criticism is as precise as possible. Don’t tell them, for example, that they’re lazy because all they are going to hear is that you hate them; tell them instead why you believe they are lazy. Focus on their actions and this will help make things clearer for them.

See Also: 10 of the Quickest Ways to Lose your Best Employees!

Managing touchy employees is not always easy, but it really all comes down to how you approach them. Be nice and honest and eventually you’ll be able to form a strong bond with these employees.

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