An employee who doesn’t accept feedback

Limor Bergman Gross

Executive Coach at LBG Consulting Service Ltd



A number of years ago, I had an employee in my team whose job was way above his head. Not only did he lack technical skills, he also didn't accept my feedback. Each time I pointed out that he had not respected a deadline or met the objectives we had agreed upon, he became aggressive and tried to flip the situation back on me. He would argue that I put too much pressure on him and that my schedule was unrealistic.

Actions taken

I tried to be patient, hoping that his behavior would improve, but it didn't. One day, during a one-on-one, he crossed the line. His language became very violent and he even cursed at me. He had gone too far. I told him "Let's stop this conversation here", and went to HR department right away. I told them what happened, and that I thought we should let him go as soon as possible. I was unaware of the layoff process in the US, and HR told me that I first had to implement a performance improvement plan for one month. We went through that process, but the relationship with the employee was really sour, and we finally let him go at the end of the performance improvement plan.

Lessons learned

Looking back at this episode, I realize that I should have consulted the HR department much earlier. The outcome would have been the same, but I would have spent less energy on this problem and may have been able to replace him earlier with a more efficient employee.

"Let's stop this conversation here" "I should have consulted the HR department much earlier"

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Limor Bergman Gross

Executive Coach at LBG Consulting Service Ltd

CommunicationPerformance ReviewsFeedback TechniquesLeadership RolesDiversity & Inclusion

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