Two of my key people aren’t talking. What do I do?
Wednesday, September 26, 2012/
Dear Aunty B,
Two of my top people used to be really, really close friends.
They worked closely together, they did things on the weekend and eventually they decided to become housemates. They were like a married couple, except they weren’t romantically linked.
Then a few weeks ago, they had some big fight. I gather one has moved out and they’ve stopped living together. They can barely look at each other in meetings, which doesn’t help given we have just five people in our senior leadership team.
I’m ready to start screaming at them, but I’m sure you’ve got a much more mature solution, dear Aunty.
I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t think of anything worse than living with someone I worked with. You spend 10 hours of the day with them and then come home and spend another six hours making dinner and small talk? Good grief, I’d be homicidal within two days.
But that doesn’t help you – you’re the innocent victim in all of this. But you do need to act, so here’s what to do.
Turn this into a performance issue. Sit them down individually and tell them that their personal relationships are affecting their performance and the performance of the company.
Tell them you will not get into the personal politics of this, but you want a working relationship restored immediately, or they will be receiving further disciplinary action.
If there’s no improvement in the situation, you are going to have to start thinking about moving one or both of them on. And quickly.
Your Aunty B
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