How to deal with a low performing employee

There are a million clichés about leading versus managing but essentially it breaks down to trying to force people to do things versus motivating and enabling them to do them. This sounds warm and fuzzy, but how do you actually do this when your employee is wasting so much of your time and impacting the team?

I’ll never forget the first time I had to put an employee on a performance plan. I literally felt sick to my stomach for the 2 days leading up to the initial meeting even though I knew it was justified. I’ve put people on performance plans and managed managers with employees on performance plans. Being a strong leader through the process requires you to lead the relationship. But how do you do that?

All relationships are made up of 3 aspects:

  1.     What you think of them
  2.     What they think of you
  3.     What you think of you

Let’s assume you are at the stage where your employee is on a formal performance plan. Here’s how the 3 relationship aspects might play out.  

What do you think of them? Do you think they are going to make it? Are you assuming they are doing their best? Do you communicate expectations clearly, but assume they are going to start missing deadlines quickly?

Are you so irritated you’re annoyed at everything related to the employee. Emails from them in their inbox make you angry, 1:1 meetings put you in a bad mood, and you try to avoid any extra contact with them?

How’s that working out for you?

What if you decided to be a leader and actually lead them. Clearly communicate the expectations and offer support if they choose to do the work. Set clear consequences both positive and negative and be willing to enforce them. Tell them things they are doing well and actually mean it. Find ways you are just like them. My guess is you would be defensive if your manager thought you weren’t meeting expectations, just like them.  

Be the leader. Genuinely want them to succeed at getting off the plan or finding a better fit job. Make sure you like how you feel about them.

What do they think of you? This step is the easiest. What they think of you is none of your business. It’s irrelevant. Only they can feel it so stop trying to control them and let them think whatever they want about you. It says more about them than you. 

I’m not saying to have an arrogant attitude of not giving a crap, but don’t waste any time even thinking about what they think about you. “Not giving a crap” is just another way you think they are not worth your time. 

What do you think of you? This is where you get to step up as a leader. Do you think you don’t have time for this or can’t afford to let this person drag the team down? Do you think they are a problem because of the problems it’s going to cause for you?

 Why would you give someone who is not meeting expectations that much control over how you feel? You get to think whatever you want about yourself so stop the pity party. Stop letting them dictate how your day goes.

When you lay your head down on the pillow at the end of the night, do you want to feel exhausted from what a problem this is for you?  Or do you want to feel proud because you showed up with compassion offering them the chance to improve? Do you want to feel proud that you were willing to have the hard conversation and that you grew as a leader through it? Do you want to feel love because you honestly care about people?

It’s all up to you. Making sure that you feel good and know you are a great leader is what’s going to help you act like one. Start believing in your ability to lead the relationship. You got this. You are there to support your employee in whatever they decided to do. Because you are a leader.

Stop obsessing over what you can’t control and start controlling what you can. You get to choose how you think about them. You get to choose what you think about yourself. Hurt people, hurt people. So, focus on showing up as a leader and go all in. You got this!

If you want help applying this to your specific situation, let’s jump on the phone and come up with a plan together. Sign up for free coaching HERE. 

Chat soon,

LB

How to stop worrying about what other people think about you

No one likes to feel like they are being judged, but have you noticed that trying to control what other people think about you is not only exhausting, but doesn’t work. Constantly worrying about people’s opinions about us feels horrible and makes us do crazy thing.

Maybe you work on a product and want to propose a new feature to test. If you are worried people might judge you if it fails, you are not going to do your best work because your focus is on other people’s perceptions and not your project.

Or you’re in a meeting and have a question, but don’t want to seem dumb for not understanding what’s going on. Most people won’t ask the question, but then you are even more lost because the conversation is moving forward, but you’re still confused.

What about when you’re getting feedback on a doc and start to worry the other person thinks you are being defensive. We start explaining why we framed the doc a certain way and spend our time defending our work and not getting the feedback.

In all of these examples, we are trying to keep someone else from judging us, but we are judging ourselves. What someone thinks about you is none of your business. You can’t literally “hurt their feelings,” but you also can’t make them like you.

So how do you stop worrying about what people think about you?

Anytime you find yourself worried that you are being judged, stop and re-direct your thought to yourself. Why are you doing the thing or asking the question or saying no? Why do you care what they think? What are you making it mean? Why does their opinion matter? You have to be willing to let them judge you. This keeps you from getting all creepy and weird by trying to manipulate the other persons perception of you. Let them judge you. Let them be right. Let them be wrong. It doesn’t matter.

If you have a new feature you believe in, keep believing in it and stay focused on the work, not what others will think. It will feel so much better trying and possibly failing after the fact, then failing ahead of time because you were to worried to try.

If you have a question, ask it. And keep digging around until you find an answer. Not knowing the answer is only going to impact you so you can choose to ask the question and do your job or don’t ask it and struggle at doing your job.

If you are worried someone thinks you are being defensive, stop defending yourself and keep asking questions to better understand their feedback. 

People push back on this and say it’s selfish to only think about yourself. But when you are being true to yourself and showing up as your honest and genuine self, that is when you really are being kind, open, and honest. The other person gets to decide how they want to feel based on what they are thinking. Let them judge you. The only person their judgment impacts is them. They are the ones feeling annoyed or frustrated, not you.

So stop judging yourself and start letting people be wrong about you. It feels so much better and gets you the results you want so much faster.

How to stop judging yourself

So often when we feel self-doubt or like we are failing at something, we tend to add judgement on top of it and make things even worse.

  • We ask a dumb question and tell ourselves how stupid we were to ask something like that.
  • We don’t know the answer to a question so we beat ourselves up for not knowing it.
  • We eat junk food and hate ourselves for giving into a craving.
  • We make a mistake and berate ourselves for not being perfect.

Your lower brain thinks it’s helping you improve and do better by adding to your negative emotion, but in reality, it’s just making things worse. It’s like you keep punching yourself in the face because you feel bad hoping it will make you feel better.

Going back to the examples above, look at how you are doubling to the negative emotion and making it even worse.

  • Not only are you feeling dumb, but you are feeling frustrated that you feel dumb.
  • Not only are you feeling embarrassed, but you are feeling annoyed about being embarrassed.
  • Not only are you feeling disappointed, but you are you feeling weak about your abilities.
  • Not only are you feeling failure, but you are feeling anxiety about the failure.

Your brain thinks that if it tells you it’s okay that you will just give up and not try to do better but the opposite is true.

You can’t hate yourself thin. You can’t beat yourself smart. You can’t annoy yourself confident.

You have to stop adding on the unnecessary multiple negative feelings and just have a little bit of compassion for yourself. Just be willing to feel dumb and embarrassed and disappointed and failure and drop all the other stuff.

When you are willing to feel those negative emotions, that’s what will stop your brain from spiraling out of control with even more stress and anxiety.

To do this, you need to redirect your brain to a thought that feels better. Here are a few to try next time you feel yourself spiraling in emotional sabotage.

  • I’m learning how to do this.
  • I’m the type of person that figures things out.
  • I wonder why I keep doing that?
  • What can I learn from this?

You’re not feeling great about it, but you are no longer heading into an emotional tantrum. Once you stop the negative feeling, this is what allows you to start moving the emotional scale the other way to be more confident and sure of yourself.

If you want help applying this to your specific situation, let’s jump on the phone and figure it out together. Sign up for some free coaching HERE.

5 Steps to Get More Done

Do you feel constantly stressed because there’s so much that needs to get done, but there’s not enough time? Do you get started on a work project only to realize it leads to even more things on your to-do list?  

I used to come into work already overwhelmed by my to-do list only to add a million more things to it after going through my email. It’s demotivating to feel so behind and like there’s no way to ever get ahead.

There are a lot of tips and tricks out there on how to calendar and organize things, but getting organized and calendaring is not the problem. In my free course, I teach you what the problem is and the 5 steps to get MORE done.  

It’s not what you’ve been taught before, but that’s also why it works.

By following this process I’ve able to accomplish more in a week than most people get done in a month. I work full time at Amazon, run a coaching business at night and on the weekend, clean my own house, make my own meals, spend time with my twin 3 years old’s and 6-year-old, go on weekly date nights, volunteer weekly at church, and have so much fun along the way.

Get the free course to learn the 5 steps to getting more done so you can take massive action and stop feeling so overwhelmed.  Get access HERE.