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  • L. Kislik

How to Manage a Stubborn, Defensive, or Defiant Employee


Some of the hardest employees to manage are people who are consistently oppositional. Most often, these behaviors are meant to make the employee look strong and mask a fear of change, an aversion to anticipated conflict, or the worry that they will look stupid or incompetent.

There are three distinct approaches that can help you get the best from oppositional employees:

- adjust job responsibilities to leverage their strengths

- temporarily overlook individual style while the person adjusts to their new circumstances

- finally, consider that they may be right, knowing where to draw the line

Sometimes, the behavior of an oppositional employee is so damaging to their team or colleagues that the company cannot sustain it and must encourage them to move on. But in many cases, after understanding their concerns and motivations, organizations can provide effective support to oppositional employees through job redesign and relationship building. Then employees who were once seen as problems can bring their greatest strengths to bear on behalf of the organization, rather than against it.

To read the full article from HBR, please click here.


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