University Human Resource Services
Personality conflicts are perhaps one of the most challenging areas of corrective action. It is not uncommon to have employees who simply don't get along well with one another or to have one employee who doesn't seem able to get along with anyone, including yourself. It is critical to understand that you cannot discipline or terminate someone simply because of a "bad attitude" or "poor personality." Define the personality or attitude in terms of behavior and address the behaviors that need improvement. All courses of action that you take need to be focused on behavioral objectives. The following suggestions explain how to maintain that necessary focus.
- Define the personality problem as a behavioral problem that is affecting job performance:
Change: "I don't like your attitude and your personality isn't a good fit for here."
To: "The language you used in yesterday's meeting was inappropriate. It is also inappropriate to roll your eyes at other staff members. These behaviors prevent us from openly discussing things in team meetings which is affecting our performance."
- After defining the problem as a specific inappropriate behavior or series of inappropriate behaviors, follow the suggestions set out in the inappropriate behavior section.
If the inappropriate behavior still exists after you have redefined the situation as a specific behavior issue and have taken the actions outlined in the inappropriate behavior section then begin the progressive discipline process.