What happens when one of your team fails?

July 09, 2017

What happens when one of your team fails?

If you are a manager of direct reports there will be times when one of your team will do something wrong, and let you down. You know it’s a case of ‘when’, rather than ‘if’, so you can try to be as prepared as possible for when the inevitable happens.

Let’s call the team member in question “the offender”. To lead the offender through the consequences of a mistake you should follow much the same advice as if you had made the mistake yourself - only this time you are advising someone else what to do.

  • Proceed with empathy. Everyone makes mistakes and has to be reprimanded at one time or another for them, so it’s important to have empathy for team members when they trip up (and they will).
  • Stay calm. You need to be the voice of reason and clarity in what may be a highly stress-charged situation.
  • Assess the situation. The first thing to do is to find out all the facts. It’s possible that you heard about the error through a third party, therefore you may or may not have all the correct information. The ideal is to go straight to the offender and ask some pertinent questions.
    • What happened?
    • Who is responsible?
    • Did you know about the situation before your client? If not, why not?
    • If your client is already aware of the situation, what has been their response?
    • Who is affected (internally and externally)?
    • What are the consequences (e.g. time, missed deadlines, money, reputation, client relationship)?
    • Was it avoidable?
    • Is it salvageable?
  • Plan a course. Once you have assessed the situation, you’ll need to plan out the best course of action. If other people (colleagues, clients or suppliers) have been affected by the incident, decide who is going to talk with them, offer an apology, and discuss a solution. In some instances that person may have to be you (if you need to take responsibility for the offender’s actions), otherwise the offender should get used to apologising themselves, and do what they can to put things right.
  • Look to the future. What will you need to do to ensure this situation doesn’t happen again? What are the learnings for everyone (not just the people directly involved)? If your whole team can learn by someone else’s mistake it will (hopefully) mean they won’t make the same mistake themselves in the future.

  

.





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Latest Tips & Tricks

Being a good steward
Being a good steward

January 02, 2018

Account managers hold the purse strings for every single job that goes through an agency. You get briefed on requirements, and then you are given the budget in which everyone has to work. Beware, because with much power comes much responsibility!

View full article →

Finding a mentor
Finding a mentor

December 26, 2017

There will be a stable-full of people whom you can talk with over the course of your career - your colleagues, managers, family, friends, online contacts, paid business advisors, and - if you are intentional about it - business mentors.  

View full article →

Understanding emerging technologies
Understanding emerging technologies

December 11, 2017

'Emerging technologies' include names such as IoT (Internet of Things), AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), blockchains, beacons, bots, and computer vision. Does it all sound like gibberish to you? If so, how can you talk about these concepts with your clients if you are just as flummoxed as they are? 

View full article →

Our gift to you!

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE REGULAR ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT TIPS FROM AM-INSIDER, AND YOU WILL RECEIVE 100% OFF THE PURCHASE PRICE OF ANY ONE RESOURCE FROM THE AM-INSIDER WEBSITE. THAT'S ONE RESOURCE
ABSOLUTELY FREE.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP NOW!

It's our way of saying THANK YOU for subscribing, plus a BIGGER THANK YOU for caring about your career and wanting to become the best account management professional you can be. We're in behind you all the way.