1. Do not label
Labelling an employee (e.g. calling them an alcoholic) may result in further conflict. It is wrong to ‘label’ a person when in truth it is just one aspect of their behavior that we find challenging.Instead, think in terms of how employees “do” difficult (what is their verbal and nonverbal behavior that you find challenging?) This will naturally lead you to ask questions that focus on the behavioral, not personal, level (“So what do we need to do now?”, “What have you learned that will be useful in the future?”, “What needs to happen next?).
2. Do not confront on rumour
A rumour may be inaccurate and a confrontation based on rumour can lead to negative relations and poor morale.
3. Don’t get angry
“Getting angry is easy. Anyone can do that.But getting angry in the right way in the right amount at the right time, now that is hard.” (Mark Twain) Anger does not belong in your managerial kit bag.
4. Don’t be cold, distant, rude or unfriendly
Especially in difficult times, employees take cues from their immediate supervisors and need to hear from them.As such, your team will judge you by your action, moods, and behaviors, not by your intent.
5. Don’t send mixed messages to your employees so that they never know where you stand
Keep your message simple, focused and prioritized. Too many messages and initiatives just confuse and alienate people.
6. Don’t BS your team
This includes saying things that you don’t believe in. This includes hiding information and just plain lying. By the time each of us is in our early 20s, we have all developed very well-tuned BS detectors.
7. Don’t act more concerned about your own welfare than anything else
Your success will come through the success of your team.”Self-serving detectors” are also very well-tuned in most employees.
8. Don’t avoid taking responsibility for your actions
You are the boss. As such, you are accountable and the buck stops with you.You are trying to develop accountability throughout your company. So, lead by example.
9. Don’t jump to conclusions without checking your facts first
A few years ago, I watched in horror as a colleague of mine started screaming at an employee of his who had missed an important meeting that morning. After several minutes, the employee responded: “I apologize and should have contacted you. But, I just got back from the hospital as my mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.”