Monday, 26 May 2014

Managing the Unmanageable part 2

In part 1 we looked at some of the types of difficult behaviour managers face in the workplace and some of the common avoidance tactics managers use. Here in part 2 we will look at the TRAC model, an easy to use model that will help you address difficult behaviours in your team.

The TRAC Model

Loehr & Kaye in their book “Managing the Unmanageable” focus on a 5 step methodology.

1.    Commit or Quit – is this person worth retaining. If so move onto steps 2-5.
2.    Communicate the message
3.    Clarify goals and expectations
4.    Create accountability
5.    Coach – remember you can only coach people once they have accepted the need to be accountable

A performance gap exists when there is a difference between what a person is doing and what you as a manager want/expect them to do.

The behaviour associated with the performance gap is challenging and an effective way of challenging the behaviour is to use the TRAC model.

Ø  T- Tell – the T statement
Ø  R - Reaction to the Reality
Ø  A - Acceptance of the issue
Ø  C - Commitment to change

Why is it challenging?

Because you are identifying a specific problem related to performance  - you need to try and gain performers commitment to address problem

When challenging?
-       always initiated by manager when they perceive a need to change
-       more likely to provoke stronger reaction than coaching conversation
-       may initially be managers problem not performers – aim to transfer responsibility

The best way to challenge is to use TRAC

T – Tell the person the issue
There are a number of methods to limit the resistance and generation of negative emotions
Ø  Introduction of the problem with a clear statement
Ø  Be specific on what the issue is
Ø  Select the most important issue and deal with that first

- Reaction
This stage is central to success.

The potential responses to “challenging” are to:

• make excuses and rationalize
• take the offensive and strike back
• become passive and withdrawn
• accept, agree and look for help

The first three represent defence or resistance and make managers uncomfortable. The fourth is the desired outcome. Coaching can only be effectively employed when the performer accepts and “owns” the problem.

Key tips:
Concentrate on the reaction of the person try
Ø  To defuse resistance by reflecting not reacting
Ø  Drop your own agenda temporarily and focus on the reaction
Ø  Look for mutual understanding, what do we currently agree on?
Ø  Use specific examples
Ø  Use your listening and questioning skills to understand the other person
Ø  Don’t be afraid to say something more than once
Ø  Don’t accept the problem

      A – Acceptance & Commitment
It may take one or more trips through Tell and Reaction before Acceptance and Commitment.

You are looking for acceptance of responsibility for the problem not guilt.

In part 3 we will be looking at useful phrases you can use when use when using the TRAC model.

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