Have a Pot-Stirrer on Staff? How to Calm the Waters - Dignify
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Have a Pot-Stirrer on Staff? How to Calm the Waters

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 - Joe Kiedinger

We’re still abuzz here at Prophit Co. We just had a STELLAR experience at our April 17th Power Up event. Wow. Thanks to all who attended and to Thom Cody for a life-changing talk.

Remember to join our email list to be notified when the next Power Up is announced!

A colleague and I recently traveled cross-country to help put out a communication-related fire. It got me thinking; there are bound to be employees who stir the pot in every organization. Can you think of one where you work? These are the people who thrive on drama and conflict, and who seem to go out of their way to cause trouble.

As a leader, dealing with pot-stirrers can be frustrating and time-consuming. However, it’s important to remember that these employees truly might not know how to communicate effectively.

Here are some tips for showing pot-stirrers another way:

Set clear expectations: It’s important to set clear expectations for behavior in the workplace. One great way to do this is by using your core values. When in doubt, they’re the perfect roadmap to point to. At Prophit, we include core values in our annual reviews and rate our employees on their success in living each value. We also ask that employees rate themselves. It’s a clear check and balance at the end of each year.

Encourage positive behavior: Instead of focusing on the negative, try to encourage positive behavior. Praise employees who collaborate effectively and encourage employees to support one another. Create a culture of teamwork and respect and model the behavior you want to see in your employees.

Provide training: Some employees may not know any other way to behave because they have never been taught communication skills. Provide training on emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and teamwork. Show them you care about ensuring their success by offering them resources and support to help improve their skills and behavior.

Model positive behavior: As a leader, you set the tone for the workplace. Model the behavior you want to see in your employees. Avoid gossip and drama! When your employees see you behaving in a positive way, they are more likely to follow your lead.

Dealing with pot-stirrers in the workplace can be a headache, but it’s important to remember that these employees may not know any other way to behave. You can help them learn a different way that positively impacts your company culture.


ACTION PLAN: Facing a particularly hard situation in your own company? Don’t wait! Reach out and take back the reigns!

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