Defensive Management in a Bullying-Saturated Era (3)

Okay, so how can managers avoid the headache of being inadvertently accused of bullying? How can they practice the four types of Justice when it comes to these situations?

I would highly recommend bringing in some qualified training to delve into these issues more deeply and effectively. But in the meantime, here are some thoughts on the matter:

 Performance management. First, it is crucial that you be gracious and deeply respectful even when you have to closely scrutinize an employee. Second, to decrease the potential danger in a situation where you have to monitor someone’s performance very closely, involve your own manager in advance. If your actions are ever questioned, this will demonstrate that the steps you took were legitimate and warranted in the course of routine supervisory activities. As well, extremely detailed note-taking is an absolute must; remember that justice and fairness must not only be practiced, they must also be clearly seen.

 Situations requiring exercise of authority and power. Before making a decision, get the employee’s input, ideas and suggested alternatives. Once a decision is made, convey it in such a way that the person understands how the decision was made and why it is fair.

 Time crunches. Even when everyone is under tremendous pressure to meet a goal or deadline, the four levels of justice must be followed. Take the time to explain right at the outset why the deadline is necessary and why the demand level will increase over the next while. Make sure you ask about and respect people’s limitations and workload. Ask them how as a team and as a leader you can make the situation more tolerable. And finally, keep your calm and manage your emotions even under the stress of deadlines.

 Feedback in public. Follow the golden rule, “praise in public, correct in private”. There rarely exists a legitimate need to highlight someone’s mistakes in public.

Good luck!

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