Managing someone with whom you have a personality clash can cause major tension. Experienced managers know how to separate
emotions from the work at hand when dealing with employees.
1. Confront problems head-on: If you do not like an employee, that person probably feels the same way about you. By clearing the air and calmly acknowledging any ill will, you can help the employee focus on getting the job done.
2. Seek confirmation: When giving instructions, do not assume that you are making yourself clear. Ask the employee to explain what you just said and what you expect of him or her.
3. Speak and write: To ensure that the employee understands you, assign tasks both orally and in print. Talk with that person and tell him or her what you need. Then, follow up soon after the discussion with an e-mail or memo that summarises what is expected.
4. Stick to good behaviour: When managing someone with an attitude problem, do not let the person’s personality interfere with the job. Focus on describing the work that you need done. Avoid lacing your comments with any quips or cynical asides about the person’s spotty track records.
5. Talk on the employee’s turf: If you have a personality conflict with a certain employee, the last thing you should do is make him or her feel ‘bossed around’ when you assign a task. A practical way to encourage such employees to comply is to meet in their offices, not yours. Calling employees into your office to assign a task could instantly put them on the defensive.