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Here's what to do when John becomes defensive and doesn't want to acknowledge there's a performance problem

by , 16 July 2014
It's often said: 'Admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving it or dealing with it.'

This sentiment certainly applies when it comes to dealing with poor performance in the workplace.

When you hold the performance discussion with your employee, he must agree that there's a performance issue based on evidence you've gathered so you can help him improve.

But, what happens when, for example, John, becomes defensive and doesn't want to acknowledge there's a performance problem?

Read on to find out the solution so you can effectively deal with it.

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Do the following when John doesn't want to acknowledge he has a performance problem

You must let the evidence speak for itself.

Experts at the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management say, if John becomes defensive during the meeting or doesn't agree there's a problem, use the evidence you've collected to highlight the problem.

Once you've clearly indicated there's a difference between what John should've done and what the evidence shows was actually done, discuss solutions rather than arguing about the problem. Move the focus to fixing, rather than debating the problem.

If John continues to be defensive or deny there's a problem, remind him that his job could be in jeopardy if he doesn't meet expectations within a reasonable timeframe.

Remember that while this is a highly consultative process, as the manager you're responsible for ensuring your employees perform. You must inform him about the performance standards and behaviours you expect.

It's that simple.

Overall, addressing poor performance is no child's play. There are six steps you need to take (included, holding a performance discussion where John must admit he has a problem).

That's why we strongly advise you check out the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management to get a detailed breakdown of the steps you need to take to deal with poor performance effectively.


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