This management seminar flier categorizes different types of problem employees (e.g. “The Gossip,” “The Excuse Artist”), and offers ways to deal with each employee personality type.
I think it is usually counterproductive to give people labels. For example, if a manager tells an employee that he is “The Gossip”- or if the manager merely believes the employee can be reduced to a stereotypical icon like “The Gossip”- those beliefs or words can push the parties’ employment relationship in a negative direction. In my own observation, employment disputes are resolved much better when management address employees in terms of behavior (e.g. manager tells an employee that “Gossiping is harmful, and I’d ask that you and others avoid it”) rather than labels that categorize a person (e.g. “You are a Gossiper”).
With that said, upon review of this full flier information and seminar description, I think that, for the most part, this seminar does address behaviors first, and promotes positive communications with employees. (In other words, the seminar promises to tell managers how to communicate with employees about things like gossiping, and doing so in a constructive manner that does not offend the employees or make them defensive).
In my observation, when management encounters behavior types that are legitimately harmful (e.g. excuse-making) but communicates negatively to the employees about this (e.g. “You’re an Excuse Artist who never takes responsiblity for anything!”), then the first stone is cast, and escalating disputes and litigation are much more likely.
As I often find myself saying to employees (and the same holds true for management): When you are in a dispute, it is not enough to be right. How you communicate is just as important, and often more important, than being right. If you communicate negatively or unprofessionally, that distracts from the fact you are right, and makes people inclined to defensive or retaliatory behavior, as opposed to seeing the light.
Because this seminar appears to share this philosophy, I give it a thumbs up, for whatever the value of my little thumb in cyberspace is worth.