Ted Pollock, Management Consultant

You should be prepared for some disagreement in discussing employees’ performances with them. After all, you and they see the same job from different perspectives. A different set of facts may be known to each of you. Complete agreement may be impossible to attain, although agreement on basic points should be reached.

Sometimes, however, you encounter people who disagree stubbornly but emotionally with all aspects of your evaluation of them. In that case, bear in mind:

Don’t argue. After you have made your position clear, your next step is to find out the basic reasons for their disagreement.

Do they have sound reasons for disagreeing, or are they basing their resistance on inaccurate facts or illogical reasoning?

Are personality problems such as insecurity involved? Are they argumentative in other situations?

Get them talking. Ask questions and listen while they explain their position. This provides an opportunity to evaluate the reasonableness of their facts and to reconcile them with your own. It also provides information to help you decide the best approach in further handling the problem.

Be patient. If you see that a personality problem may be responsible for an individual’s refusal to see the facts as they actually are, it may be necessary to give the facts more time to sink in. Therefore, it may be advisable to wait until a future meeting to discuss the matter further.

Think it over. In some instances, you may learn of circumstances during the interview that change the situation. Consequently, you may need more time to investigate further.


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