How To Discipline Using Douglas McGregor’s Hot Stove Rule

Regardless of how long you’re in management, there will come a time when you will have to face the prospect of offering some kind of discipline to a staff member. Although thought of as being punishment, discipline should be seen as a way of convincing someone there are higher standards to attain, and you are offering the individual the chance to improve.

While progressive discipline is generally the most effective method of dealing with discipline, it must be practiced within a larger framework. To increase the likelihood of positively influencing employee performance and protecting against legal action, keep Douglas McGregor’s “hot stove rule” in mind: Learn More

Managing Difficult Situations

Management is a key position within any business, and can be a very rewarding role to play. It’s not always plain sailing, though, and you sometimes have to deal with people who cause difficult situations for you.

For example, you may be in a situation where you find it difficult to deal with a team member. This can be caused by many reasons, including differences in positions and interests, motivations, personality styles, perceptions, cultural backgrounds, experience and many others.

Here are some questions you may like to consider to isolate the source of these differences and help you consider a way to deal with them:

How is your perception of the situation different from the other person?

How might their motivations differ from yours?

What do you find difficult about the other person’s style?

Does the other person’s communication style differ from yours?

What is the other person’s interest in this matter?

Are they taking a position that you find hard to deal with?

What experience or background does the person have that might be influencing they way they consider the situation?

Are other people involved in the situation, whose views you may have to consider?

Having answered those questions, what conclusions can you come to about the source of the difficulty?

The answers to these questions will give you a clear view as to why the difficulties are occurring in the first place, and give you a firm foundation on which to build a solution-focused conversation.


Thanks again


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

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