Gavin Meikle, Head Of Learning And Founder Of Inter-Activ

The people we manage can be a godsend and they can be a nightmare. As managers our job is not just to do our own workload. By definition we are tasked with managing other people too to ensure that they perform at their best.

Recently a client told me the story of a how a relatively new member of staff had started to become a problem and how they, with the help of a simple mnemonic, had been able to get the person back on track with a five minute chat.

The team member concerned was good at his job but had developed a tendency to waste a lot of their time telling everyone else in the open plan office how busy they were and how much work they had to do. Not only did this waste the individuals time, it was a distraction to other members of staff.

Having witnessed this behaviour first hand a couple of times the manager decided to have a little chat.

He used a simple mnemonic BECA to help structure this potentially difficult conversation.

1. Behaviour

2. Effect

3. Consequence

4. Action

He started by specifically describing the unhelpful behaviour and then outlining the immediate effects that this behaviour was having. Asking the individual concerned what they though the consequences of continuing this behaviours might be initiated a positive conversation. The result of which was a mutually agreed action plan to ensure that these unhelpful behaviours were stopped. The manager reported that the results were almost immediate.

Don’t put off critical conversations. Catching issues like this early on is a great way to nudge people back on track before the problem gets out of hand.

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