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Confrontations with staff


jam17
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I am a manager of a small private Nursery and have had an awful time with staff last term. One teacher has been with me for a few years and the other is more recent. The new member and I have had considerable problems and i will always remember her saying early on "I will challenge you!" I do find managing quite difficult I admit but often struggle to express myself when confronted and have sometimes walked of to calm down! I have decided its better to be purely professional in relationships at work and to keep calm, but this seemed to wind this person up even more! The other member of staff seemed to gang up with this girl, they say 3's a crowd!? I admit to having high standards but am always very hands-on and certainly do more than I need to! I have had the support of senoir management all along and have been at the school for 13 years! Its to long winded to go into details of what happened but was wondering if anyone had any advice or examples of conflict as a manager and how they dealt with it? :huh:

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Hiya,

I was an owner manager for 15 years and since then a manager so confrontation with staff is not new! Some basic tips

Get people on their own. Tell the most challenging you want a meeting with her if any future situations arise. Prepare notes of what you want to say- imagine the conversation and be prepared! But don't give her much warning!

Without knowing the details it's hard to advise, but it's your job to stay calm and professional and keep disagreements out of children's earshot.

Take notes after any meeting.

Walking away in the heat of the moment is good! But always come back later and say you need to speak privately.

I made some silly mistakes along the way dealing with staff, it's a learning curve!

Gives a room full of 3 yr olds on my own over 'challenging' staff any day!!!

Good luck

:)

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In my previous role I used to avoid confrontation, or step back and accept everybody's views over my own.

 

In this role I have developed a must thicker skin. (I grew a set) I have worked hard to safeguard myself and the setting. Each and every conversation is recorded. All staff are involved in decision making, some staff want to be there, others don't.

 

As manager the buck stops with me, I have to be able to justify decisions to the powers that be. Some people will never agree with decisions that are made.

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Thank u so much for taking the time to reply! Very wise advice and so true!

I am a manager of a small private Nursery and have had an awful time with staff last term. One teacher has been with me for a few years and the other is more recent. The new member and I have had considerable problems and i will always remember her saying early on "I will challenge you!" I do find managing quite difficult I admit but often struggle to express myself when confronted and have sometimes walked of to calm down! I have decided its better to be purely professional in relationships at work and to keep calm, but this seemed to wind this person up even more! The other member of staff seemed to gang up with this girl, they say 3's a crowd!? I admit to having high standards but am always very hands-on and certainly do more than I need to! I have had the support of senoir management all along and have been at the school for 13 years! Its to long winded to go into details of what happened but was wondering if anyone had any advice or examples of conflict as a manager and how they dealt with it? :huh:

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Thank you so much, very wise advice! :rolleyes:

I am a manager of a small private Nursery and have had an awful time with staff last term. One teacher has been with me for a few years and the other is more recent. The new member and I have had considerable problems and i will always remember her saying early on "I will challenge you!" I do find managing quite difficult I admit but often struggle to express myself when confronted and have sometimes walked of to calm down! I have decided its better to be purely professional in relationships at work and to keep calm, but this seemed to wind this person up even more! The other member of staff seemed to gang up with this girl, they say 3's a crowd!? I admit to having high standards but am always very hands-on and certainly do more than I need to! I have had the support of senoir management all along and have been at the school for 13 years! Its to long winded to go into details of what happened but was wondering if anyone had any advice or examples of conflict as a manager and how they dealt with it? :huh:

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Gives a room full of 3 yr olds on my own over 'challenging' staff any day!!!- so true and thank u so much for taking time to reply!

Hiya,
I was an owner manager for 15 years and since then a manager so confrontation with staff is not new! Some basic tips
Get people on their own. Tell the most challenging you want a meeting with her if any future situations arise. Prepare notes of what you want to say- imagine the conversation and be prepared! But don't give her much warning!
Without knowing the details it's hard to advise, but it's your job to stay calm and professional and keep disagreements out of children's earshot.
Take notes after any meeting.
Walking away in the heat of the moment is good! But always come back later and say you need to speak privately.
I made some silly mistakes along the way dealing with staff, it's a learning curve!
Gives a room full of 3 yr olds on my own over 'challenging' staff any day!!!
Good luck
:)

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I have removed the attachment blondie uploaded because generally it is better to give the url where the document can be downloaded so that we can recognise the author's copyright (and enable them to retain control over who can download and use it), but also so that forum members can always access the most up to date version of the document.

 

The table blondie originally uploaded is part of an ACAS document entitled 'Challenging conversations and how to manage them' which contains lots of really useful information about how to manage challenging/confrontational situations with employees.

 

You can download it all here from their website. Thanks blondie for finding such a great document and sharing it with us all. This is why I love the Forum! :1b

Challenging conversations - table.pdf

Edited by HappyMaz
To provide the link to the ACAS website.
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I think i would also be reminding the staff member that although they told you they would challenge, that there is a time, a place, and an appropriate way to do so, and if they are challenging a senior manager to the point where that manager has to walk away to calm a situation, and their nerves, i would be thinking they had crossed a line in their role.
Im all for staff discussions and the whole team being involved in processes as this means they are generally all on board with decisions or at least fully informed, but there is a reason why we have managers, and staff and as already said the buck has to stop somewhere. perhaps the staff member would like to bring up any issues at their supervision meeting, or to avoid heated situations, might decide to write their opinion down for you to view, but in the end, the final decisions are down to the management. Perhaps if this is a regular situation, which i hope for you it is not, then your staff member may like to start looking for a more senior position else where if they are struggling with not being an overall decision maker,. they may have outgrown their position. This does not excuse them creating situations with the potential for underminging managers authorities, which is what constantly challenging a manager in front other staff will do. Good luck :)

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That table is a really good idea! Being an owner manager for the last 8 years and before that a police officer you'd think I'd be used to conflict. I hate it - however will prepare myself properly if that conversation is needed. I don't always record every conversation and that is probably my biggest downfall and one I need to get on top with. Take deep breathes and count to 10 - walking away doesn't hurt or show defeat especially if the moment is wrong! You need to be in control of the situation. good luck

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