Management: Gain employee trust

Q. How do I handle an employee that is not receptive to coaching?
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A. If there’s one thing that frustrates managers, it’s having an “un-coachable” employee on their team. It’s that individual who feels that he is never wrong, that the manager is unfairly identifying him whenever any kind of critical or even constructive feedback is given and he simply refuses to take any responsibility for his mistakes or failure.

Regardless of his posture and attitude, his success is your responsibility. So, how do we understand his mindset and, ultimately, convert him to a consistently high producing member of the team? To do this, you have to first break down his shell of self-assuredness and overconfidence, because underneath all of it is someone most likely with low self-esteem and a poor skill set.  

When faced with this challenge, your first task is to gain his trust through honest dialogue about what has transpired in the past and clearly state a vision for success moving forward. He needs to believe that you truly have his best interest and will have his back, provided he makes every effort to improve. This process will require absolute commitment from both of you. A sense of accountability for each of you is essential.  

In my experience, nothing has been more rewarding than helping someone grow and thrive.

Mike Strange is vice president, Emerge Sales. Reach him at