How To Deal With A Defensive Employee?

It is a human tendency that we are open to feedback as long as it’s in our favor. This means that all of us like to receive compliments even if we are trying to be humble about it. After all, who doesn’t like to be flattered once in a while? But when it comes to negative feedback, we are better off without it. In our personal lives, people avoid pointing out the mistakes as it might jeopardize your personal relationship with them. When we talk about our professional lives, feedback plays a crucial role for improvement. This is why it is the manager’s job to give feedback on a regular basis, whether positive or negative. At such times, dealing with a defensive employee can get tedious.

Deal With A Defensive Employee

At the workplace, everyone is striving hard to prove their worth. But in order to progress, it is important to be aware of one’s pros and cons. When the supervisor gives a feedback, it can prove to be extremely beneficial if taken in the right context. Negative feedback will tell us which mistakes we must avoid in the future. On the other hand, positive feedback tells us what we must continue doing. Unless we are given honest feedback, we wouldn’t know through which approach we can be on the path of success.

Deal With A Defensive Employee

Dealing with a defensive employee can get tedious.

Negative feedback can aggravate a defensive employee

There are mainly two types of employees; one who are open to feedback, and the other is a defensive employee. The latter is the one who will justify his flaws till you don’t accept it. Such an individual may even resort to aggressive behavior if you give negative feedback to him. Therefore dealing with such individuals is always a dilemma for the manager. Despite this, it is essential to provide feedback to him whether he likes it or not. The best way to do so is preparing such an individual beforehand.

Make sure that you announce publicly that giving feedback is a company policy and all employees are expected to take it in the right stride. Make sure you use your words wisely to avoid offending anyone, especially in the case of negative feedback. Present such feedback in such a manner that you are helping them improve instead of pointing out their drawbacks. This will avoid aggravating the defensive employee. Also, tell the employees to approach you or their team leader in case of any guidance.

Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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