I am going to outline four steps for dealing with difficult employees or team members.
This is an important subject, partly because it actually works in both directions.
If you have someone that you are managing who you find difficult, chances are, that person is going to find you difficult as a leader as well - that there is a communication block that needs to be addressed.
This is an issue that is not only economic but also very much a person to person issue as well - a human issue.
In Australia (where I live), for example, a recent survey reported that 25% of employees end up taking time off work to deal with mental health issues of various different sorts in a calendar year.
There are lot's of solutions on the Internet for dealing with difficult employees, but they are all lacking
When you search for "dealing with difficult employees' in Google or your other favourite search engine, you will find a lot of entries.
And there certainly are some good pro tips that are worth taking on board when you read through that material.
But in my opinion, each of them has one lack.
What is that lack?
They each provide a "one-size-fits-all solution" - and when you are dealing with people, one-size-fits-all solutions are TERRIBLE.
Dealing with difficult employees using iMA
iMA explains why one-size-fits-all solutions don't work.
It's because not everyone relates to the world and other people in the same way.
iMA is a simple, colour-based language, that provides a way to observe, understand and deal with differences, enabling people to communicate and connect with others on their wavelength.
I am going to outline the basics of iMA to you.
By doing that, I will show you the four steps required for dealing with difficult employees in the workplace more effectively.
Let's Start With The Good News
I have some very good news for you.
Out of the approximately 8 billion people that now live on this planet, you have a lot in common with 2 billion of them.
With 25% of people, you have a lot in common, which is really good.
But there's a flip side
There are another 75% of people with whom you have less in common.
Of those, one third - 25% of the whole (again, 2 billion people), you actually don't share much in common with at all.
That's why frankly, you probably find them quite annoying, which is only offset by the fact that they find you just as annoying.
There are four different types of people
iMA classifies them as High Red, High Yellow, High Green and High Blue.
I encourage you to download my free product in order to find out the detail of how this works - on what criteria iMA breaks the world's population into these four groups - these four High Colours.
The free download is a PDF which includes a link to a video. It will take you about 25 minutes or so to go through it.
The Four Steps
Step 1 - identify Your High Colour
The first step is finding out which colour you are.
That's the i in iMA - identify, identifying your High Colour.
That's the first step because you need to know who you are.
What is your comfort zone?
What is your mode of being that makes you the most comfortable most of the time?
Now, we're all a blend of colours, as the creator of iMA, James Knight, loves to say.
But there's one colour that characterises us most of the time and that is what we need to discover.
So the first step is to find out, to identify, our High Colour.
Step 2 - identify The High Colour Of The Other Person
The second step is to identify the High Colour of the other person, of that difficult employee or problematic team member.
And chances are you've got a colour clash.
That is why you face the problem that you categorise as "dealing with difficult employees."
You and that person are finding it difficult to communicate, difficult to connect and therefore difficult to work together.
Step 3 - Modify your Message
Once you've identified your High Colour and the High Colour of the other person, now you've got to make some changes in how you behave and how you communicate, in order to bridge that communication gap and make dealing with difficult employees far easier.
That's where the M of iMA comes in.
M stands for Modify.
You have to modify the message.
You have to encode what you are wanting to say to that other person differently.
That's what I call "communicating on their wavelength and not yours”.
That is the key to dealing with difficult employees effectively. If you do this well, your will know longer consider your "difficult employees" to be difficult.
It's almost as if you have to speak in a different language.
If you were dealing with someone whose main language was French and their English was pretty weak, then trying to communicate to them entirely in English is going to be a problem.
Switch to French and it already makes things a lot easier.
So in a similar kind of a way here.
You have to communicate with them on their wavelength in a way that they are going to be able to encode that message more effectively.
So that's step three, modify.
Step 4 - Adapt
And finally, we come to the A of iMA.
And that is to Adapt.
To adapt the way that you communicate so that when you are dealing with different people, you're communicating in different ways.
There are essentially four dialects that exist in the world.
Therefore you have to pick the dialect that is going to be the most effective with the people that you are talking to.
The A of iMA can also stand for Accept - that you accept other people for who they are.
They are not worse or better than you; they're simply different.
And also that you Appreciate the fact that they have tremendous talents - tremendous talents that you don't necessarily have.
When we find a way as a team to blend together the good attributes and the good qualities of all the various different people with all their various different colours, then people are happier, communication is more effective, job satisfaction goes up and turnover goes down.
Everybody finds that they enjoy their workday far more than they ever did before.
So these are the four steps:
Again, the details of how this works - most especially how you identify your High Colour and how you begin to identify the other person's High Colour - are available in my free download.
A lot of my colleagues have
told me that there's really too much information there for it to be given away for free.
But I want to get this into as many hands as possible because I believe, as James Knight says, that iMA can change lives, iMA can improve the world and therefore the more hands that we can get this in, the better.
So please start by getting it into your hands by using the link below.
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