Category Archives: Q&A

Crucial Conversations QA

How to Mentor a Bully

Dear Steve,

I am mentoring an individual who is in a supervisory position. She is very forthright with her direction and criticism of those under her. She has a good relationship with most of the people she works with, but those with soft-spoken personalities often accuse her of bullying. I have known this person for several years and see a lot of potential in her, but I also think her blunt communication style may be a barrier for her. If you were mentoring her, how would you direct her?

Signed,
Mentor of a HIPO With a Potential No-Go

Dear Mentor of a HIPO With a Potential No-Go,

With most HIPOs (high-potential performers) there are usually opposite and equally powerful no-goes—aspects of a person’s style that have the potential to derail them. Our strengths are often tied to weaknesses, so someone with a lot of potential has to be aware of how and where their strengths turn into liabilities. Many people in this situation instinctively pull back on their strengths in an effort to blunt the impact of those liabilities. However, this is not the most effective way Finish reading