Managing the Unmanageable: Tough People, Tough Situations

American Management Association

How long?

  • 2 days
  • online, in person

American Management Association


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Who should attend

Directors, managers, supervisors, team leaders and anyone who manages or directs others.

About the course

Be empowered to deal with challenges that impede morale and productivity

One of the toughest parts of a manager’s job is dealing with and turning around problem employees. Whether it’s passive/aggressive direct reports or conflict resulting from generational or cultural differences, the issues are complex and filled with emotion. The solutions aren’t always found in “Management 101”—but in this course, you’ll gain skills and tools for resolving situations and keeping problems from getting out of hand. You’ll also work through your toughest situations with the help of guided role plays, exercises and skill practice sessions.

How You Will Benefit

  • Motivate over-taxed and “burned out” employees
  • Effectively deal with employees in crisis and dysfunctional behaviors
  • Address multi-cultural and multi-generational conflict in the workplace
  • Prepare for a potentially confrontational conversation
  • Reset expectations and lay a solid go-forward plan
  • Protect yourself and your company by minimizing employment-related liability

What You Will Cover

  • Understanding the connection between difficult behavior and personal style
  • Learning the role of power, structure and tension in work relationships
  • Applying leadership defense principles
  • Troubleshooting common scenarios that put your “manager muscles” to the test
  • Mediating employee disputes
  • Understanding and applying fact-specific performance and corrective action do’s and don’ts
  • Terminations for cause vs. resignations by mutual consent
  • Leveraging workplace security options and resources


Learning Objectives

  • Troubleshoot the Problem and Reframe It as a Challenging Opportunity
  • Separate Out What’s Critical from “Noise”
  • Uncover Best Practices for Resolving the Challenge
  • Manage to Reduce Risks (Legal, Retain Good Employees)
  • Manage Performance with Clarity, Frequent Feedback, Coaching, Consistency, and Fairness
  • Apply Progressive Discipline to Lay the Groundwork for Next Steps
  • Plan and Conduct Tough Conversations
  • Strategize a Solution to Resolve Your Unmanageable Challenge

Your Workplace Challenge: Articulate, Clarify, and Evaluate

  • Identify Specific Challenges You Are Currently Experiencing with Direct Reports
  • Articulate and Define the Problem
  • Clarify
  • Evaluate the Impact on All Stakeholders and Understand Their Needs
  • Make a Commitment to Turn the Problem into an Opportunity

The Proactive Manager: Lead with Objectivity, Backbone, and Heart

  • Manage Your Own Reactions and Stress
  • Avoid Seeing Oneself as Victim
  • Use Proactive Leadership Strategies
  • Look at the Wider Context of Who You Are as a Leader
  • Strengthen Your Ability to Think Critically About an Issue, Challenge Assumptions, and Consider New Approaches

Employment Law 101

  • Gain Knowledge of Employment Law and Legal Risks
  • Prepare to Handle Physical Security Risks (For Cyber Security Risks, Consult with Your IT Department)

Mastering Progressive Discipline and Securing Terminations for Cause

  • Proactively Manage Performance
  • Distinguish Between Feedback and Coaching
  • Learning Better Verbiage to Use in Order to Get Your Point Across in a Respectful Way
  • Plan to Use the Situation-Behavior-Impact Feedback Model
  • Understand When and How to Apply Progressive Discipline Principles
  • Recognize the Importance of the Written Record

When Differences Are at the Root of Workplace Challenges

  • Assess Your Own Communication Style
  • Recognize How People with Other Styles Need to Receive Information
  • Assess the Impact of Generational and Multicultural Differences
  • Recognize the Different Needs of Remote, Virtual Employees

Tough Conversations for Performance, Conduct, and Discipline Challenges

  • Clarify Your Goals and Needs for the Conversation
  • Plan How You Will Invite the Employee(s) and Set a Positive Tone
  • Plan What You Will Say or Ask to Achieve Needed Action
  • Practice Conducting Tough Conversations
  • Involve the Employee(s) in a Two-Way Conversation
  • Handle Resistance and Defensiveness Effectively

Seminar Conclusion: A Plan to Go Forward and Participant Feedback

  • Review What You Found Most Valuable
  • Finalize Your Action Plan for Applying Strategies to Your “Unmanageable” Challenge
  • Report Highlights of Your Action Plan

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Managing the Unmanageable: Tough People, Tough Situations at American Management Association

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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