Bad behavior | Stop it instantly


Stop Bad Behavior Instantly

When anyone is in a leadership role they are occasionally challenged by other people with their bad behavior, whether its a parent, a supervisor, a minister, or a team captain.  Bad behavior is always harmful to all it touches; to the people that are exposed to it, to the recipient, and to the person on the receiving end of the behavior.

Imagine you walk into a room to make an announcement for an upcoming meeting.  You hear someone’s off putting and sarcastic comment, “Great another wooooonderful meeting.”

Imagine you approach an employee and ask him to do a simple task and he responds, “Why do I have to do it.  You never ask anyone else to do it?”  Everyone turns and looks out of the corner of their eye waiting on your response.

You begin a meeting at exactly 8:00 AM and someone walks in at 8:07.  You stop the meeting and wait on the person to settle in so you can resume as you glance down at your watch.  They quickly snap, “What?  It’s just a couple of minutes.  It’s not that big of a deal.”

Bad behavior like this should never be tolerated.  If you let it slide thinking the stern look you gave them will be enough, it’s not.  You have just nonverbally told everyone else that this type of behavior is acceptable and there are no consequences for acting like a disrespectful child.  If you do not set your boundaries and stick to them you are opening the floodgates for more bad behavior.

Six simple words that will instantly stop bad behavior:

Square your shoulders up directly at them and say, “What you are doing is inappropriate.”  You can even follow it up by saying, “I expect more from you.”

If you try to convince them that the meeting really is a beneficial experience, or the task you asked them to do is perfectly reasonable, or try to explain that tardiness is a big deal you have already lost. You have justified the bad behavior by responding to what they said and not what they did.  You have now just defended yourself and you having to defend yourself will increase in the future because now bad behavior is acceptable.

Bad behavior | Stop it instantly


5 thoughts on “Bad behavior | Stop it instantly

  1. Well written. Whether you use the word “better” or “more” you are definitely communicating to that individual that you are not going to let them get away from the bad behavior. Hopefully, their behavior improves. But at least you show who is in charge.

  2. I think this became more of an issue with the rise of political correctness. You’re never ever supposed to “hurt someone’s feelings” regardless of how poorly they behave, and as noted, letting it go means it is acceptable behavior. As Barney Fife would say, Nip it in the Bud!

  3. As ever a good point well made….

    Over the years when mentoring new supervisors / managers I’ve always told them that if the behaviour of a staff member doesn’t feel appropriate….it probably isn’t. Most folks just instinctively know when behaviour is acceptable or not.

    Stage two…if it isn’t appropriate how will it look and seem to other staff who do behave professionally if you let the moment pass?

    Stage three…if you don’t act and later on reflection it just feels wrong inside…well you probably should’ve done something about it at the time.

    You’re now learning and growing as a leader….


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