Silence is NOT Golden: How to Effectively Address Problem Behavior

When a team member is displaying problem behavior we can react in many different ways. We hope someone else fixes it. Or, we give the offending team member the “stink-eye.” Or, we just complain to our colleagues about the work habits of our team members. While any of these might make us feel better in the moment, none of them are actually effective in addressing a team member’s problem behavior. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly how to have that conversation?

You will learn to:

  • Discuss the behavioral differences between job performance and work habits
  • Develop an appreciation as to why dealing with unsatisfactory work habits early, before they require disciplinary action is the better choice
  • Explain clearly and specifically to a team member the nature of his/her unsatisfactory work habits in a way that focuses on behavior rather than personality or attitude
  • Identify ways to involve the team member in the problem-solving process to maintain their self-esteem
  • Find ways to gain team member commitment toward a clear plan of action and review progress fairly to increase their accountability

You will benefit by:

  • Experiencing a reduction in the stress that often precedes these feedback conversations
  • Feeling more comfortable and confident in these interactions
  • Developing a style and reputation for being a manager who doesn’t look the other way
  • Increasing the productivity and engagement in your work area—yours and your team members’

Course Recommendation

Check out the following resources for additional learning on this topic:

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Any manager or supervisor that would like to improve their feedback process for problem behaviors

Topic Area

  • Leadership and Management

Domain and Expectation

  • People
    • Coach and develop others
  • Execution
    • Achieve results


  • Leading a Team
  • Leading Multiple Teams


  • Level 2: Skill building