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Fix That Bad Hat

Your peer did not get the job and he is mad - don't let him take it out on you. Here are some ideas to help you deal with the situations:

Initiate A Discussion

It is imperative that you sit down and have a meaningful discussion with the individual concerned. Your two objectives are to find out specifically how he is feeling, and figure out how you can enlist his co-operation and help him become a productive part of the department.

Understand The Causes Of Resentment

The most obvious reason is that he must have felt he was the best person for the job. He probably had ideas on running the department and had been looking forward to putting them into action. Now, he may feel he has lost that chance. The only way you can find out is to ask questions, and then listen to the answers. Begin by saying you know he was a candidate for the job, and that you also understand he was considered qualified for it. Then begin with a straightforward question such as, "Do you still feel disappointed and resentful?" Wait for the answer. Keep probing until the person begins to talk. If he takes the opportunity to vent his feelings of anger, listen calmly and use body language to indicate that you understand.

Help Your Subordinate Regain Lost Pride

One effective way is to initiate a special project with a specific objective that he can relate to, and put him in charge of it. It is important that you assign him to a project that is of value. You could come up with the project in a discussion with him, which gives it the benefit of his buy-in. Your plan will enable him to regain a portion of his self-confidence and pride in front of those who care about him. It is also a positive achievement that can count towards future promotion opportunities.

What If The Plan Does Not Work?

If you give your unhappy subordinate every opportunity to come on board with you, and he still does not co-operate, then stronger measures are called for. In this case, you must have another discussion. This time, you should frankly point out his shortcomings and explain how his negative attitude is creating a toxic environment that adversely affects the whole department and its work. Candidly tell him that if he cannot find the inner strength to change his attitude and make a productive contribution, then there is no place for him in your department.

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