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Meeting with staff

How you meet with your staff to discuss problems or complaints is an important part of dealing with them. Here are some tips:

  • meet in a private and comfortable location
  • avoid distractions and interruptions
  • introduce yourself and explain your role
  • ensure your facial expressions, posture and gestures match what you say
  • keep an appropriate distance
  • invite people to talk
  • ask for background to the problem
  • don't ask too many questions
  • allow comfortable silences.

It is important to be non-judgmental and not to express your opinions. Try to avoid some common phrases.

  • Generalising – "everyone knows…" "you always…" "men always do that."
  • Stereotyping – "people like that always…"
  • Diagnosing – "the real reason you feel that way is…"
  • Giving advice or ordering – "what you had better do now is …" "just stay away from him." "you have to …" "you must…"
  • One-upmanship – "when I was assaulted…" "That's nothing. You should hear about…"
  • Judging – "what you should have done…"

Your staff are more likely to help you solve any problems if you speak with them well.