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4 Ways to Manage an Emotionally Needy Employee

Behavioral science shows that the most talented people are often the most insecure.

Here are four steps you can take to manage a team with an emotionally needy member.

1- Test the person’s awareness. Emotionally needy people often don’t realize the degree to which they drain others. Start by scheduling a one-on-one meeting, to ask questions and gauge if they are aware of the impact their behavior is having on their peers.

2- Be direct about your emotional boundaries. When you set boundaries, you force the other person to consider when to seek emotional reinforcement and when to refrain from it. If they continue to overreach, you can bring them back to the agreed upon boundary.

3- Treat needy people as if they are strong, not fragile. Whatever you say, be sure to let this person know you care about them and your relationship. Doing so will show them that you’re on their side while also setting an example for the kinds of emotionally mature conversations they need to learn to have.

4- Don’t allow gossip about a needy team member. The more people talk about the needy person instead of to them, the more isolated they feel, and the needier they become.

To read the full HBR article, please click here.

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