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Effectively Managing an Intimidating Employee - Connected Conversations

Leadership Blog

My leadership blog is all about helping current and emerging leaders learn how to transform difficult conversations and dysfunctional workplace relationships into positive and productive ones.

Brie Barker

Effectively Managing an Intimidating Employee

by | Difficult Conversations, Leadership Development

I once helped a manager (we’ll call her Amy) who was having difficulty dealing with a rather intimidating employee (we’ll call him Mark).
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It wasn’t just Amy who felt Mark was intimidating — everyone else on her team felt the same way.  They would often complain about Mark to her and Amy was aware that the side conversations people were having about him were having a negative effect on morale and productivity.
/
They all worked together in a typical office environment in a large organization; everyone’s work was administrative in nature.  It was clear to Amy, however, that Mark would rather be doing something else entirely.
/
Mark was a dedicated reservist in the armed forces.
He spent many nights each week and almost every weekend at gatherings or training exercises with other people who shared his passion.
/
It was obvious to Amy that Mark certainly didn’t have any passion for his job though — it seemed like he was just doing the minimum amount of work required and was only there to collect a paycheque.
/
Back in the office, the pictures that Mark had up in his cubicle reflected his passion: images of fellow reservists in uniform, training exercises, guns, etc.
/
When he was agitated, which was often, Mark would speak with a stern, raised voice, while taking a firm grip on whatever table he was at … and Mark was a pretty big guy.
/

The end result was a very tense work environment that was not as productive as Amy needed it to be.

/

What approach could Amy take that you think would be a win for everyone concerned?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Blog Post

Effectively Managing an Intimidating Employee

by | Difficult Conversations, Leadership Development

I once helped a manager (we’ll call her Amy) who was having difficulty dealing with a rather intimidating employee (we’ll call him Mark).
/
It wasn’t just Amy who felt Mark was intimidating — everyone else on her team felt the same way.  They would often complain about Mark to her and Amy was aware that the side conversations people were having about him were having a negative effect on morale and productivity.
/
They all worked together in a typical office environment in a large organization; everyone’s work was administrative in nature.  It was clear to Amy, however, that Mark would rather be doing something else entirely.
/
Mark was a dedicated reservist in the armed forces.

/

He spent many nights each week and almost every weekend at gatherings or training exercises with other people who shared his passion.
/
It was obvious to Amy that Mark certainly didn’t have any passion for his job though — it seemed like he was just doing the minimum amount of work required and was only there to collect a paycheque.
/
Back in the office, the pictures that Mark had up in his cubicle reflected his passion: images of fellow reservists in uniform, training exercises, guns, etc.
/
When he was agitated, which was often, Mark would speak with a stern, raised voice, while taking a firm grip on whatever table he was at … and Mark was a pretty big guy.
/

The end result was a very tense work environment that was not as productive as Amy needed it to be.

/

What approach could Amy take that you think would be a win for everyone concerned?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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