Leadership is tough, it’s messy, and definitely not for wimps!
Whether you lead a business or a family, you’re going to have to deal with people, and people are… Well, let’s face it: people are messy. Relationships are messy. And life is messy too.
Now, considering the challenges of leading people to grow and succeed, whether we’re talking about in the office or at home, what do you do when that person is struggling?
Maybe they have frequent mood shifts, outbursts, or just a negative attitude. The problem is that this IS having an impact on the culture that you are trying to create.
So, what can you do about it? There’s a lot to consider when it comes to managing unruly team members. Root Systems, personality styles, and office dynamics all play a part.
Getting them to see and acknowledge the impact that every member has is a key element here.
On today’s show, we’re going to dig into this messy topic, and bring to light what you need to know as a leader, in order to protect the culture and hopefully help this team member!
Enjoy this episode,
518 | Managing Unruly Team Members
Chris LoCurto 0:00
On today's episode, leadership is not for wimps. It's tough, it's messy, and it will push you to be a better person. Why? Because you're dealing with people, and sometimes they don't want to be led, or at least they don't want to make it easy. So what can you do about it? Well, that's what we're going to be talking about. And that is coming up next.
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are. Welcome to the show, folks, I hope you're having a fabulous day, wherever you are. Recently, on one of our mastermind q&a calls with some of our clients, one of our leaders had been struggling with how to manage a team member that was a very strong personality style. Now you could say any combination is a strong personality style, but specifically, this personality style that this leader was dealing with was a high D and C, if you have not done your DISC profile, go get it done ChrisLoCurto.com, make sure you get it done and get to some great understanding this is powerful for communication. So they were dealing with a very high D and high C still are dealing with a very high D and high C personality style. But this team member was known to have outbursts and was known to lose his temper quickly to undermine the stability of the team in the office. And everybody knows it. Still a great person, still somebody people like, but has some serious mood shifts. And as I'm going through this, there's probably a lot of you out there that are saying he's got to be talking about so and so on my team.
Some of you might even be going, oh my gosh, she's talking about me, we've all experienced this somewhere in some way shape, or form. And that's the question that this person was asking was, how do I deal with this? So maybe you're scratching your head about leading this type of team member as well, the bigger problem is, is when they're influential, and they tend to set a tone in the office, which sometimes in a positive way, but more often, chances are, it's coming out in a very negative way. So what happens on company time among team members isn't isolated, it doesn't just happen in a vacuum. And you obviously, hopefully, obviously, you just can't ignore it and hope that it all goes away. And the fact, all of this can have a huge impact on the culture in your workplace. And it probably already is if you have somebody like this in your, your team and your business, then it's probably already impacting your culture. It, doesn't have to just be a high DNC, you don't have to just call that's the personality style that rocks the boat, nope. All different personality styles rock the boat in different ways. But here's the deal. This can create volatility, it might cause people to blow up and get loud and create chaos, it's definitely disturbing to other team members, you probably have a good amount of team members on your team or this is just massive conflict.
It may be they can't see the impact that they're having. If this is you know, the person who's doing this, maybe they're not recognising and they're most likely, it could go both ways. It could be that they are recognising it. But they can't be out of control. They can't feel like they're out of control. So they can't do anything about it. They can't take responsibility, or maybe they do see the impact that they're having. And they just still feel like they can't do anything about it. Right? Hopefully, they just don't recognise that their what they're doing is having this type of impact. Why is that important? Because that's a heck of a lot easier person to lead out of this the person who does know that they're doing this man that becomes very difficult. They can also have a tendency to act as though nothing ever happened. You can see this personality style, this strong personality style, have a tendency to act the next day as though nothing ever happened. You know, sometimes it's just because they've gotten over it. Sometimes it's because they don't want to admit it. You know, they don't want to recognise what's happened and what their part is, and so they don't take responsibility. Here's the deal, the damage is done. People tend to walk on eggshells around this type of person. And if you don't take action, it could look like you. Yes, you could look like you care more about the disrupter than the rest of the team. If you're showing your team that by not doing Something about this, this person is allowed to get away with it, then how are they going to receive it? How would you receive it? Right? If you were on this team, and you saw a leader not doing something about this, how would you feel, you would feel like they cared more about that person? Or worse, your team would probably believe that you are afraid of that person. Either way, the communication is still the same, they are not important enough to fight for. So dealing with unruly team members can be a huge time suck for leaders. Especially if you haven't put accountability in place, you've not been having tough conversations, and it's been happening for a while, then it can become a really big time suck.
The sooner you can get to it, the sooner you can cut that down. So we're going to be talking about this and what to do about it right? How do we get rid of the extra and completely unnecessary stress and anxiety? You know, what are things that we can do? So here's what you need to know, everyone has already noticed the situation, you know if not everybody, most people probably have already noticed the situation. Now they're waiting for you to respond, not just to react, but to actually do something about it. They want you to do what leaders are supposed to do. And that is to lead. So let's talk about point number one, which is the problem. So back to the conversation on the mastermind call, as we drill down into the corrective action that this leader had been taking, which was mixed and really not getting any great satisfactory results. We saw some inconsistencies with this unruly team member. So as we look at the coaching and corrective action, when they sat down to review the situation with this person, the person will talk about how much they care about people, even though their actions indicate the opposite. And I think that the thing that got the leader stuck was that the person kept talking about how much they cared about people. And they weren't getting to that connection of Yeah, but this is what you're doing right, the person couldn't see the damage that their out-of-control behaviour was causing. Now remember, this is a high Dean, high C personality style, very task-focused person. So it's not the same as like a high s or even if I win, they would say if that person says, you know, I care about other people, there's a difference, right? The D and C are very, very, very task focused, the Ins are very, very people focused. Right. So n I n s saying they care about people is actually going to be more about the actual care for people, the DNC, it could go in a couple of different ways, you know, high seas, definitely going to be speaking in absolutes. And it could very well be that this person is trying to convince themselves that they really do care about people. But the problem is, is that feeling out of control, can cause somebody to really lose perspective. So it's very possible that this person is trying to get I'm not saying that this person doesn't care about people. That's not what I'm saying. But when you have somebody who says I really care about people, and then you see the actions they take with people, and it goes against that concept that goes against that belief system, then something is off something is amiss, right? And so it's going to cause you as a leader to go, if you care about people, why do you keep doing this? Right? Why do you keep destroying people?
Now, there were many different elements that I pushed in on this because there are some other aspects as well, maybe it's not just a personality style issue. It could be a value issue. If this is somebody who's a high altruist, you know, if you're, if you're like me, altruism is my highest value, my highest motivator. You know, we're the type of people that want to remove pain and suffering from the world. We want to develop people we want to help people out. But we also contend to be the doormats for society. So this is a big swing in the same conversation. If we're talking about personality styles. It could be this stuff over here. If we're talking about values, it could be this over here. It could be that as an altruist, maybe he has been helping people out or he does care about people, but he feels like he's been run over so many times and, you know, been the doormat to society and has been abused in this and been taken advantage of it's very possible that that's the situation. So just like the old saying, hurt people hurt people. We find out a lot of times that some controlling people have been controlled by people in their past, right? It can become a standard defence mechanism. can become self-protection now, controlling people as a whole who have had control in their lives. But somebody who is an altruist I should have maybe said it that way. Somebody who's an altruist who is showing up very controlling, most likely, has had somebody very controlling in their life or could be a number of people, right? So the surface problem isn't always the underlying problem. It's, it's just a symptom. So if we're seeing the control, it may not be this is just a controlling person, it could very well be, man, this person has been knocked around a lot. These are elements of things that we're talking about right, it can be helpful to dig down and dig in a bit in order to uncover the motivator behind the behaviour. So the first point is, we've got to decide what is the problem, we've got to try and figure out what is the problem, I'm going to suggest to you, that perspective gathering is incredibly important at this moment, are you spending time with this person digging in outside of the specific situation, right, if they keep deflecting to something else, then it might be time for you to try and dig in a little bit and find out if you can be cautious, you know, but if you can find out, maybe this person has been hurt, maybe this person is struggling with something. Some of the best ways to do this are to just present to the I care about people comment, on the actual situation and ask them to explain it. Hey, help me to understand I'm hearing you know, have a really good caring concern voice legitimately actually care and be concerned, I'm hearing you say that you care about people. But here are the actions I see. So here's where I am, I just want to understand it. Can you help me to understand? If you care about people?
How does this action align with that, see what they say, what you may be able to get down into if they can get there. And if you can guide them there as well, we say guiding people to self-discovery. It's kind of funny because it's actually not legitimate self-discovery, you're actually guiding them to that place. But if they can come up with it on their own in their own minds, then they might be able to share some information with you, that helps you to understand why they're doing what they're doing. Now, at the end of the day, if they can't get there, then we have to say that the attitude does not, it doesn't matter if they say they care about people, the actions are not aligning with it. So point number two, we have to get to again, as much as possible. The room. So asking this perspective, and gathering questions are incredibly helpful. Why is this situation this issue, so important to you? Have others taken advantage of you here in your past? Is there you know, why are you so passionate about how you're handling this situation or this issue, I and you can use the word passionate, because it's very possible that they're looking at their attitude, as a passion while you're looking at it as being a jerk. Right? So gaining that perspective, digging in with some of these questions, you know, if this is something recent or work-related, then let's see if we can bring closure to it, can we get it, you know, closed up, buttoned up and be done with it? Or is this something that's, you know, going to continue, you know, so if it's something that is recent, but not work-related, then let's suggest finding the help that they need to get to it, right? So if it's something outside of business, it's not something recent inside of work, then there's maybe something deeper, you know, however, if it's, you know, like from 20 years ago, then really, there shouldn't be any outbursts. That means that there's something else that is really, really piling up inside of this person. Either way, at any rate, the behaviour itself is unacceptable. If it's something recent during work, let's get it buttoned up. If it's something that's maybe not so recent, that's in their personal life, Let's suggest that they get help. Either way, we've got to get to the ability to say, This is unacceptable. If they can give you a great perspective and help you to understand what the root is, then you can help them to understand why they're acting the way that they are. This may at least, you know, give a little bit of pause to how they're acting in the future. Either way, it must, must be addressed. You need to have a sit-down discussion.
This may need to be a tough discussion. It may be a good chat, you know, carrying chat, but either way, you've got to discuss it. You need to discuss your culture. We do not do this here. I understand what you're experiencing. I understand what you're going through or at least I'm hearing you I'm seeing this But this is unacceptable in our culture, we do not allow this in our culture, so make sure that they understand. Make sure that you're asking questions. Do you agree with that? Do you understand what I'm saying? And this is an area where I will find myself asking multiple times the same question, just different ways to see if is there anything I'm missing. You don't want the person walking out the door? Going? Well, he didn't listen to me. She didn't listen to me. Right, make sure that they understand what their attitude was the thing that they did. Do you see how you acted? Do you see how you responded? Okay, do you see that that's not acceptable here? Do you have questions? Do you agree with me? Here's a great question. Do you disagree with me? Do you believe you did not do that? Or do you believe that what I'm saying here is not accurate with what our culture is, try and dig in and see if you can't get to the greater truth, right? So this needs to be done. In a, hey, it's not acceptable period. But it also needs to be done so that they can see that you are protecting both of them. And the culture, hey, I want to help you with this, I don't want this to be something that, you know, causes you to not be able to be here.
But I also need you to understand, I have a team of people and a culture that I must protect. These are all things that we need to be doing. So after you're digging in, you know, we're working on this route. Point number two, you're digging in, you're getting quality perspective, and then we have to offer choices and consequences. And this is something that no matter how many times I say it, I can't stress this enough, you need to use the words, choices and consequences. Choose chose chosen, hey, you're choosing to violate the culture here, it, I can't explain this well enough, I can't just pound this home enough. If you say you're violating the culture here, you're leaving room for them to blame you. I know. It doesn't sound logical in your brain, you're going Chris, I literally just told them, they're violating the culture, I get that I understand. If you want it to be more powerful, and you want it to be driven home, change your verbiage to your choosing to violate our culture here. Once you point out that it's their choice, they're either going to do one or two things, they're going to push back hard and say that is not what I chose to do. Or they're going to have to wrestle with the fact that it is their choice. But if you just tell them, they're violating the culture, they can still go, I disagree in their own mind, I disagree. You're wrong, yadda, yadda, yadda, it really you're just having a bad day and being a jerk yourself. And they can do all kinds of stuff by putting it back on you. But when somebody recognises that the thing that they're doing is their own choice. And 98% of people will get there and there's a percentage of people who still can't, when they can recognise that it's their own choice to violate the culture, then they don't put the blame on you or anybody else. If they can get to the recognition that they made a choice to do this thing, even if they have some, you know, way of actually making it Okay, in their mind.
Well, I chose to do that because of so and so yeah, but you still chose your violation. You could have chosen to come to me because so and so did such and such. But instead of doing that you chose this over here, by pointing out that it's a choice. It helps them to see well, crap. At the end of the day, it still was my choice now. Parents, the same thing with your kids. Same thing. Quit getting so crazy blown up upset and mad because your kid keeps doing something stupid. Quit getting so upset because they keep doing the same thing. US that hey, you chose to do that, therefore, and we switch to the next piece of this. You're choosing using the words, you're choosing your consequence. Because you chose that you've chosen this consequence. So the example I like to use a super easy. Hey, you chose to show up late to work again today. Therefore you're choosing to get written up. Well, I couldn't do anything about the traffic. There was a bunch of traffic Okay, have you driven to work before? Yes? Has there been traffic before? Yes, could you have chosen to leave early? Why don't want to get here too early? So you're choosing a write-up, instead of being here too early. See, all of that pushes everything back to their choice. If you choose to do this, you're choosing this consequence. So things that could have been said, or should be discussed with this specific situation that we're talking about, hey, I'm here to help you. I'm here to protect I'm here to lead, I will work with you and lead you to success. But you have to follow our culture, you have to follow and, and cooperate with the things that we put in place, if you choose not to, then you're choosing this consequence, right? So you fill this stuff in now, if you do that, you can help this person to get to a place of recognising crap, this is decision-making. If I choose this, I choose that, if I get caught choosing this, then surely this person is going to give me this consequence.
So parents guess what you're creating in your children's quality decision-making, hey, you can go ahead and choose to talk back to me. But if you do, then you're choosing this consequence, you're gonna get the consequence, I'm not even gonna get mad, I don't have to get mad because you're choosing the consequence. Same thing with a team member. So hopefully, all that is making a lot of sense use the words, what will happen, when you start to do that? Well, with a controlling personality style, they may, they may blow up, and they may think that they can control you with a threat of anger. So be prepared, there's a possibility that they will blow up things that you can use. One of the things I will work and work and work and work. And I rarely use this, I rarely use this phrase. But I probably use it, I don't know, once a year. So a phrase that I will use is, hey, take caution with your tone right now. Even the most controlling person can recognise that, that what I just said and go, I need to reevaluate what I'm doing. Now somebody's super controlling, they will evaluate it and they may keep coming back at you just be prepared. But most of the time that I've ever used that phrase, it helps a person I'm with, I've done that with a client in the past, who was super blowing up and just going ballistic. Super helps that person to go, Whoa, I'm really out of control right now, right? Another thing you can say is I highly suggest that you not do X, I highly suggest that you do not talk to me that way and that you do not blow up I highly suggest such and such write you something that I will ask from time to time, are you sure you want to respond this way? There are many times I've done this with clients, team members, vendors, children, you know, it really helps somebody to go, wow, you're giving me a chance in the middle of this. You're not even battling me back. You've not even fired on me, you've not done anything.
You're really giving me a chance to take a hard look at myself, are you sure you want to respond this way? Which is saying, Go ahead. Just understand if you keep stepping forward, consequences are coming. Something's going to happen. But I'm giving you a redo right now I'm giving you an out you can stop right now, and not continue to respond this way. Right. So it's super helpful. Another thing you can do is use a very important word, no. Something you could say is I need to leave right now. No, this is not acceptable. No, I'm not going to sit here and listen to this. No, you can keep this blow-up or attack or whatever if they're doing it. And then make sure you put a healthy boundary and I have to leave this conversation or you have to leave this conversation right now. So it can be very powerful for you to say this is just going to do nothing but get worse. And I don't think either one of us can control this right now. I think we need to stop this and come back at it later. Another thing you can do is if somebody continues to blow up, use the phrase over and over again. helped me to understand, right so if somebody is blowing up and having that bad attitude and they're pushing back on you, you can say Okay, help me to understand why you're so angry right now. Why are you so defensive right now? I'm experiencing you and try not to just tell them what they are Tell them that your experience I'm experiencing us being very angry right now. I'm not angry. Okay. Okay, well that's your response? Sure sounds like it. You know, can you help me to understand why you're responding this way? You know, in this type of situation, this sure is aligning with what the whole topic is about. I'm seeing you respond in what appears to be a very angry and defensive and self-protective way, which is literally the conversation that we're having in the first place. So this is aligning with the tough conversation that we started to have today. And I'm going to push back again, on you're caring for people because right now, you don't seem to care for anybody but yourself. Because look at how you're responding, right?
So, again, try to use the phrase I'm experiencing you, as helped me to understand those are things that you can do. So this is really helping you to force accountability to the person's actions and helping them to acknowledge their actions, as in all my SS and C's out there just going oh, my gosh, I don't think I could ever do this, folks. I'm a high s. Yes, you can. Yes, you can. It just takes practice, it takes you not being emotionally handcuffed to the conversation at the time, it takes you not getting handcuffed to responding to whatever they say, Don't go into crazy defensive mode, you have to protect yourself all that kind of junk. Instead, focus on what the person is doing, keep your head level, recognise that you're the one with the problem, and then push back on what they're doing. Yes, you can do this, if you can do it, then there's a really good chance of saving the person and getting things back on the right track. Alright, point three, which is the fix. The first thing you have to do is what I just said there, I keep giving you the next point at the end of the previous point. You have to maintain control. You have to maintain control of yourself. You have to be in control, maintain control of the culture, you have to lead the team member to a greater perspective themselves, no matter what, you have to work hard at getting that perspective out on the table. So here's the bottom line, you cannot lead and be out of control. You can't let your leaders lead others the same way as well. If you're out of control, if your leaders are out of control, then what is it telling your team? Do you have to lead your team? Hopefully, to gain quality perspective, you have to work hard on gaining quality perspective. If you're out of control, and you're having outbursts, what does that tell the team? How can you possibly tell me that I shouldn't have outbursts when you're doing the very thing? Right? If you're not gaining quality perspective, then how could you tell somebody else that they need to get quality perspective? Right. So and by the way, make sure that gaining a quality perspective is not a deflection from the actual topic.
So in other words, if you're trying to focus on a topic, you know, hey, you've been late three times this week, while Jane over there has been stealing paperclip clips, how come you're not getting on to hurt? What happens is a lot of times somebody can deflect from the actual conversation and point to something else, to try and get you to focus on that thing so that they don't have to take responsibility. I've had many times people tell me that I'm not gaining perspective from them. When I am I'm asking these questions, but every time I ask the question, they deflect to something else. Look at this over here, so that they don't actually have to answer the question, but it sounds as though they are being you know, honourable by saying you're not getting perspective. No, you just keep deflecting from the thing I keep asking. You will find a lot of very controlling people using that tactic. It's very obvious if you're not emotionally handcuffed to the situation. So when they're outbursts, when nobody's getting perspective, then you've got to push back on this stuff. If it's you, then you got to stop yourself. You got to keep you from doing it. But assuming you're not, then we need to make sure that you're pushing back or leadership is pushing back on a situation. Is the team member making assumptions? Are they making absolute statements are they deflecting? Are they making accusations? Are they using facts? Are they using feelings? Do you hear all the time I feel this or, you know, it seems like you're doing this or you're making me this, you know, is all of that feeling versus facts? Are there actual data points that are being used? Are they actually holding themselves accountable? Are you holding them accountable? Is anybody holding anybody accountable? Or do we just have a tonne of victims? Right? If we don't put these things in place, if we don't have good quality, accountability, perspective gathering, not losing our heads, fighting for the culture fighting for the team, if we don't have this, then what we're going to end up with is what we see a tonne in society today. And that's a bunch of victim mentality.
And I can tell you, there is no fun operating a team or a business that's full of victim mentality. It's a colossal waste of time. It's a waste of time, right? There's no point in running that team, you got to get the victim mentality out, you got to get changes out, you got to focus on the culture, you got to focus on accountability, if you will do these things that will radically change the culture in your business. When you resolve the issue with the person who keeps blowing up, the person who keeps everyone on edge and has everybody walking on eggshells. So if what I've shared today resonates with you, maybe you're feeling a little stuck with a team member who doesn't want to be late or just is a handful to deal with, then maybe it's time to have a business coach who can walk you through the process in a step by step format. This is easy to do, sign up for a free coaching call at Chris LoCurto.com/mastermind. Don't just keep struggling, don't keep hoping that things will change on their own. Reach out to our team today and find out how to solve this again, go to Chris LoCurto.com/mastermind and click the button for a free coaching call, we will get you the help you need. And our team will show you how to connect with other business owners and leaders in one of our next-level mastermind groups. So don't delay the help you need is available today. So let's wrap this up. Here's the deal. You can give people a chance to change. But they have to choose to change. If they can't choose to change, then they are by default, actually choosing to leave the team. Why? Because they are behaving contrary to the culture. Do you see yourself self-sabotaging yourself out of this business or relationship? It's a great question to ask. Now keep in mind, you have to be in a position where you're right. You know, you have to this has to be something where you're you're pushing on somebody who's who is out of control and making bad decisions.
Do you see yourself? Or do you see that you are self-sabotaging yourself out of this business or out of this relationship? I have had to ask that question to a handful of people in my life two or three. Probably not a lot, but probably two or three. And because of the accountability that was already in place. Every time the answer was yes, I do see that. And at least twice the answer following that was, but I don't know how not to. We can work with that. We can do stuff about that. We can change that. If you can recognise that you are self-sabotaging. So it's your job as a leader to at least try and turn that person around. Now personality styles high seas, Heidi's eyes, SS any of them who aren't healthy or mature, can have control struggles. They've got to get out of the hypothetical imagined situations and stay grounded. In reality, they've got to get to understanding what actual reality is, you know, facts versus feelings. Those are important things to understand. Victims like to vent and look for villains. You cannot be a victim. Without a villain. There has to be a villain. If you're going to be a victim this way they shift responsibility away from themselves and unto others, thus continuing the cycle of victimhood. Now there are legitimate actual victims in this world. And there's an incredible number of people with just a victim mentality.
Again, you've heard me say this before victim mentality is in vogue right now. If you can show yourself a victim, then man people appreciate it. It's just the craziest thing. It's just insane. All of it is a form of self-sabotage, and there's no room for it in a healthy work environment. So if you find that there's a lot of victim mentality in your work environment, then you need to start questioning your work environment itself. Do you have the right culture in place? Have you been making sure that people are honouring the culture? So for more on victim and villain mentality, check out our series of episodes from 495 to 498. Well, folks, that's all the time we have for today. I hope that this information has helped you. As always, we want you to take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life. And join us on the next episode.