Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had a positive working relationship with an employee, then a difficult conversation happened, and afterwards the relationship just wasn’t the same? It can be uncomfortable when an interaction has left the relationship strained. Maybe the employee feels bitter about the conversation’s outcome, or maybe the employee resents that the conversation happened at all. Either way, you may feel at an impasse: the relationship seems tense, or you can see noticeable changes in the employee’s behaviour, and you feel like you need to do something to address the lingering tension.
Given the fragile state of the working relationship, it may seem difficult to determine the best way to navigate the next steps in resolving the conflict. Most of the time, hard feelings, like other grievances, can be resolved. Occasionally, a simple “cooling off” period may resolve the tension after both sides have had time to reflect on the situation. However, if the relationship does not recover, and the employee’s behaviour ever starts becoming toxic and they are contributing to a poisoned work environment, you should act immediately to avoid damaging effects.
At the end of the day, if you ever feel lingering tension between you and an employee, it is always best practice to address it rather than ignore the issue.
Download our free “Getting Back on Track Guide,” where we discuss tips for how you can navigate the often murky (and anxiety-provoking) situations of a derailed working relationship in order to get it back on track.
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