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Handling insubordination

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When you are a business manager you get to deal with a lot of stuff everyday. From the minor to the major. Sometimes a healthy breakfast and a good night’s rest is all it takes to get through the trials of the day. However, sometimes it takes a lot more, especially when you experience something like employee insubordination.

The first thing you have to do when an employee is insubordinate is do not give control to others. Start by responding, not reacting. It is important that as the manager you keep the upper hand by not letting your emotions overtake the situation. When an employee is insubordinate it is key that you do not let them see you ruffled.

Think before you speak. It is never good to just talk out. You want to make sure that you have thought through your words. Weigh the situation carefully in your mind; determine how you want to respond. Go through possible scenarios in your mind, if you respond this way…what will it mean? If you respond that way…what will it mean? What consequences will there be? Once you have taken time for rational thought, then you can speak.

Take some deep breaths and relax. Emotions can cause a body to tense up, and your body language may speak more than you expect, so give yourself a chance to loosen up and relax. Take a deep breath, it will automatically calm your body down, and this will help you to be more in control naturally. It will also take a few moments; much needed moments that will allow you to get your mind under control as well.

Focus on positive thoughts. Did you know that going to a positive place in your mind will help you create a positive emotional response. Positive thoughts can help you to contain your emotions and allow you to govern you, not allow others to govern your responses. You give the insubordinate employee a win if they get to rile you up and set you on edge. Instead, let your body relax and be calm, and let your rational side take control.

Decide if a response is necessary, and how you will handle it. If a response is warranted, look at how what you say will affect the long-term influence on your relationship with the person, as well as the work environment. For example, calling them out in public, or embarrassing them can lead to a great deal of gossip and problems amongst your other staff if you are not careful.

The goal for handling insubordination is to conserve your energy. Take time if you need it. Then respond according to policy. Let the employee know that you will not stand for it. Let them know what the consequence of their action is (unpaid suspension, or a demotion, or being put on probation, etc.). Make sure you keep the consequences in line with the expected consequence according to company policy.

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