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Tip of the Week

Tackling Behavioural Performance Problems

Gather the facts and then use the DEAL WITH IT formula...

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20th March 2015

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Weekly Tip Fourteen


Handling Employee Reactions

How to handle defensive people.....


When raising a performance problem with an employee you do not always get an open/accepting response.

Here are some tips for handling a defensive reaction.

In this response the person is highly defensive and may not accept the existence of the problem and/or their part in it.  They could be described as ‘prickly’.


You should:

  • Paraphrase – “So what you’re saying is….”
  • Confirm and let the person talk – nod, use silence.
  • Accept valid criticism – “You’re right, I should have raised this before….”
  • Show empathy – “I’ve had a similar experience myself….”
  • Ask probing questions – What, when, which, who, where, why?
  • Restate the point – “The key issue here is….”








For more insights check out our resource Managing Difficult Employees



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