Flipping Faux Pas
Jeff regrets that he lost control and looks for new strategies in dealing with his team.
Sarah has been employed by JLD for almost a year and a half. She has been a cheerful and fun addition to the office. She is well-liked by my clients and employees. When she is allowed to work on her own and at her own pace, she is very productive. When working by my side, she is not as successful. She continually forgets to write things down and remind me of important calls and appointments. She makes mistakes on the to-do lists and miscommunicates information to sub-contractors and clients. I have been more patient with her than any other employee in the 11-years I have owned my own business. I have made great strides to control my frustration and intolerance of her repeated mess-ups. I have had hundreds of rational, reasonable discussions with her in attempts to explain my needs and requirements. Unfortunately, I finally blew.
It was not just any explosion, it was one of epic proportion. It caused major damage in that it hurt Sarah's feelings forcing her to flee to the bathroom in tears. She stayed there for almost 30- minutes. It was very uncomfortable for the other employees, mostly because that is the only bathroom at Valley Oak they're allowed to use. I realize this is starting to sound redundant, but I again feel terrible. I never wanted to hurt Sarah. My goal has always been to mold and train her to be the next Jenni. What I realize now is that's never going to happen.
Every one of my employees has their own unique strengths and talents and it is up to me to find them and utilize these gifts. With some employees, discovering their talents is like a never ending scavenger hunt. While I figure out exactly where Sarah fits in at JLD, I must find another way of dealing with her "off days." Lately, if there are mornings where she is prone to making mistakes, I simply make a list of errands and send her out for the day. She really shines on those days, but unfortunately there are times when I need her by my side. I continue to look for more healthy and productive ways to deal with my stress and frustration. Although the progress has been slow, I am trying.