Read the Room

Lesson 2: Topic 6 of 21

Are you losing personnel because there are one or more noxious individuals where you work? If so, your tolerance of their attitudes and actions has a hugely detrimental impact on the culture. Teamwork, trust, and collaboration will plummet, customers will suffer, your establishment’s reputation will be smeared in private conversations and on social media, and on and on it can continue to spiral downward. 

If the overall mood is poor, you must make it a priority to find out why. Beware, though, of what counselors and therapists call the ‘identified patient,’ the symptom bearer who’s blamed for all the problems rather than correctly identified as one symptom of larger problems. In other words, a  group of dysfunctional people may attempt to lay blame for their problems on a single person. Maybe there is a troublemaker or two; maybe not. 

The reality is there are employees that are simply not right for your organization. If their personal goals do not line up with the corporate goals, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad people. Perhaps they’re just there to collect a paycheck, without any excitement about the company’s mission or vision. If these are lower-rung employees who fulfill a small, standard need, you may be fine with keeping them on ― but if they’re influential, their continued presence will eventually tear down what you’re trying to build.

In such cases, you could passively wait for them to leave, but if you’re not in a staffing crunch it’s not wrong to invite them to consider other opportunities elsewhere. You might even be ultimately doing them a favor! They may find a more fulfilling role elsewhere away from your organization. When an employee who doesn’t fit in leaves for an assignment that better suits them, it’s a win-win scenario.

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