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Win at Work!: The Everybody Wins Approach to Conflict Resolution by Diane Katz PhD

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Chapter 11. Challenge 8 Manage That Troublemaker or Let Him/Her Continue to Stir Up Trouble?

Without doubt, employees have been known to act in amazing ways—sometimes it's hard to tell the adults from the children. A few examples come to mind. The man who was fired for sleeping on the job and then came back the next day, asking to be rehired. The manager who refused to stop smoking in his office because it was his "constitutional right." Last (I do have a million of these!), the customer service rep who stormed out of her office crying because her manager had given her a reprimand. There is no end to how inappropriately some people can behave. It can take extreme self-control to manage such employees effectively.

Anyone who has managed employees has stories to tell about office intrigue, pettiness, affairs, jealousy, arguing, and so on. One client of mine, a rather generous sort, purchased special office chairs for two large-size employees. This prompted other employees to object: "How come they got new chairs and we didn't?" They continued to complain until, finally, the business owner succumbed to the pressure and bought everyone new chairs. This challenge is about dealing with employees who perform their jobs well but stir up trouble in other ways. They may think they are stirring the pot in a subtle way, but usually their behavior is anything but subtle! Instead, it tends to evoke conflict, and in doing so challenge management.

Here are some common examples of what I'm describing ...

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