Having scared people who are afraid of responsibilities in your team is a waste of time. Here are 5 of the most common tactics they use and how to answer in each one of them.
- They avoid or postpone doing the task
Postponing is a common tactic of someone who doesn’t really care to deliver a certain project. Perhaps they don’t feel comfortable about the result they will produce or they are simply too lazy to give it a try. These people will be straight with you and deny to do anything that goes beyond their comfort zone claiming that it is not included in their tasks. Perhaps this is partially true, however, when we work issues that we have not predicted will come up at some point. It is not fair to hide behind the mask of what is officially required of us. This kind of employee is not the type of person that will step up to help and their attitude shows their mindset. Make it clear that you will take no for an answer and give them a strict deadline that you expect them to have the work done.
- They put the blame on others
In addition to refusing to do something on their own, these people will not hesitate to blame others for their failure. And most of the time, it is not going to be their superior; they know better than that. They will accuse their mates or people who hold lower positions. It is easier to attack the weakest than the strongest. This way not only do they not deliver but they also create a negative atmosphere on the team causing the disappointment and frustration of people who feel they cannot defend themselves against the unfair reputation that is being spread by their colleagues. If you ever come across these behaviors have a deeper view on the matter to make sure your employees speak out for the truth.
- They turn the discussion to other topics
A person who wants to avoid something understands when the discussion is going to evolve in a way that someone will call them to take responsibility. In an attempt to avoid it they will distract you with other stuff. It can be things that one of their colleagues forgot to do and they are important for the project or general topics that the company has to deal with. In most cases, they will try to raise your attention and choose things that are hot topics for the company right now and they will be a priority compared to what you want them to do. Kindly tell them this is not their responsibility and remind them which the responsibility is for them.
- They pretend they are incapable
What a better way to avoid doing something than claiming you are not good at it. This way your boss will first have to convince you that you are capable and also take responsibility if you mess up since you warned him about your bad performance. The most likely thing to happen is that the supervisor will turn to someone else for help; someone who will not make his life difficult and will appear to be more cooperative. Besides, you can’t blame someone because they can’t do something. Someone who admits they are inadequate appears to be honest but sometimes the reality is they are manipulative and this is something you need to be able to tell.
- They claimed they tried
Another common strategy is to claim they have already tried and failed. If playing the stupid hasn’t discouraged their employer from turning to them for a particular project the excuse that they have already given it a try in their last attempt to avoid the task. Your answer here is to simply insist. Demand proof that they have tried to ask them to show you the results of their failure. Diagrams, data, or anything that can prove they have given it a try. Once they understand they are not going to get away with it they will realize it is more simple to do what they are asked in the first place. Remember manipulation can work up to a certain point, up to the point that you accept it.
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